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Publication numberUS3606074 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date20 Sep 1971
Filing date24 Jul 1969
Priority date24 Jul 1969
Publication numberUS 3606074 A, US 3606074A, US-A-3606074, US3606074 A, US3606074A
InventorsHayes Robert M
Original AssigneeHayes Robert M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple purpose gripping lid
US 3606074 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 20, 1971 HAYES 3,606,074

MULTIPLE PURPOSE GRIPPING LID Filed July 24, 1969 '2 Shoots-Shut 1 Sept. 20, 1971 R. M. HAYES MULTIPLE PURPOSE cmrme LID 2 Shun-{hut 2 Filed July 24, 1969 hi I FIGBa FIG 8 United States Paten 3,606,074 Patented Sept. 20, 1971 3,606,074 MULTIPLE PURPOSE GRIPPING LID Robert M. Hayes, 24 Webster Ave., Somerville, Mass. 02143 Filed July 24, 1969, Ser. No. 844,437 Int. Cl. B65d 41/00 U.S. Cl. 220-42 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A multiple purpose lid suitable for open cans and other containers of various sizes has a closed top and a side wall shaped to resiliently grip the edges of different sized cans. There is shown an upwardly extending series of decreasing diameter ring surfaces formed in the inner surface of the side wall, adjacent ring surfaces joined by ledge surfaces which the can top can abut when the lid is in place. There is also shown a second inner side wall joined to the first, providing a smaller size gripping surface. 'Ihere is also shown a combination in which the lid also defines a coaster acceptable for use in the home.

This invention relates to gripping lids useful in the kitchen and other places where it is desired to close 01 seal opened tin or other cans.

It is an object of the invention to provide a gripping lid which has greater utility than lids heretofore known and to provide such a lid which can be manufactured simply and economically.

According to the invention it has been realized that many containers of various sizes, in particular tin cans, are stored openly in the refrigerator or elsewhere under conditions where the moisture, odors and flavors of the contents of the can are undesirably released, as results for instance when an open can of dog food is placed in the refrigerator. In other instances the homemaker goes through the extra steps of emptying the contents of the open can into another container (ordinarily a container which requires washing and a place of storage when not in use) for the simple purpose of not having an open can in the refrigerator. While theoretically at least for each different sized can a gripping lid might be provided, this would necessitate keeping on hand a number of lids and the task of selecting the proper lid each time.

With these realizations, it has been further realized that a simple device made inexpensively by long and well known techniques, e.g. plastic molding, in the form of a closed top and a side wall shaped to resiliently grip the edges of different sized cans, can solve these problems.

The invention features such a construction in which, along the inner surface of the side wall there is an upwardly extending series of decreasing diameter ring surfaces, adjacent ring surfaces joined by ledge surfaces which the can top can abut when the lid is in place.

The invention also features a second, inner, side wall joined to the first, providing a smaller gripping surface.

The invention also features a combination in which the lid also defines a coaster acceptable for use in the home.

The invention further features all of the above in a single lid member which is simple to manufacture, which is both attractive and visually presents desirable smooth surfaces when used as a coaster, while still having the capability of closing a considerable number of different sized containers or cans.

Other objects and features will be understood from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment, in connection with the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention, viewed from above;

FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken on line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2a is a magnified cross-section of a portion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the embodiment, used as a coaster;

FIGS. 4-8 are vertical cross-sectional views of respectively different sized cans being closed by the embodiment;

FIG. 8a is a magnified view of a portion of FIG. 8; and

FIGS. 9 and 10 are views illustrating intermediate steps in the procedure of placing the lid on a can as shown in FIG. 8.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 2a the lid comprises a closed top 10 joined integrally to a side wall 12 of circular horizontal cross-section terminating in lower edge 14. The inner surface of the side wall is defined by a stepped series of inwardly directed ring surfaces 16, 18 and 20 extending upwardly from the lower edge 14. The ring surfaces are centered on the same axis A and are of decreasing diameter (e.g. C C C etc.) in the direction up from lower edge 14. Downwardly directed ledge surfaces 22, 24 and 26 connect adjacent ring surfaces. The lid is made of a form-retaining resilient plastic such as low density polyethylene and the thickness and properties of the wall are such that a ring surface can be slightly resiliently distorted by a can top of slightly larger size to effect a resilient grip between the exterior surface of the can top and the ring surface. Under this condition the can top can abut an upper ledge surface, which enables the user to sense when the lid is properly seated;

Advantageously, for the reasons described more fully in connection with FIGS. 8-10 below, the inner surface 14a of the lower Wall edge 14 is sloped upwardly, inwardly to serve as a guide to facilitate the assembly of the lid onto cans of large size. The ring-ledge corners similarly serve as guides.

In this preferred embodiment the side wall 12 is integrally joined to the top wall 10 through a second, inner side wall 28 which is joined through bridge 30 to the top of side wall 12. Inner side wall 28 extends downwardly to horizontal plane P which corresponds with lower edge 14 of outer side wall 12. To this lower portion of the inner wall 28 is integrally joined top wall 10, the latter also lying in plane P. Wall 28 is spaced from wall 12 providing a space for the tops of cans to enter therebetween, see eg FIG. 9. i

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 both the inner and outer surfaces of inner wall 28 may be employed to engage and grip the tops of correspondingly sized cans, the cans being of smaller sizes than those engaged by outer wall 12, see FIGS. 6-8. Thus a range of can sizes can be closed such as those sizes commonly used for beer, soft drinks, dog food, cat food, peas, etc.

As shown in FIG. 3 the lid of this embodiment is useful and acceptable to the home owner as a coaster e.g. for iced tea or highballs. The co-planar nature of the top wall 10 and the lower edge of side wall 12 give the coaster stability and wall 12 gives the sideways protection often sought for coasters. The upper surface 12a is smoothly inclined at angle a to the horizontal, thus providing an exterior of acceptable smoothly contoured form to the home owner (the person being served with these coasters will be unaware of the stepped or rough appearing undersurface, and of the fact that the coaster can also serve the other functions described above).

To combat the tendency for tumblers to stick to wet coasters, ridges 32 are provided in the upper surface. These are spaced apart in a manner previously known to 3 provide an open space 34 under the tumbler to allow inlet of air and drainage of liquid to break the liquid seal which causes such sticking.

While the specific form of the ring and ledge surfaces may be varied within the scope of the invention when viewed broadly, advantages are obtained employing the form shown in the drawings in which the ring surfaces are substantially vertical (or cylindrical) and the ledge surfaces are substantially horizontal, (or annular) with no re-entrant curves or the like. Not only is such a form readily and inexpensively molded, it also provides easy adjustment of the lid and can top to the appropriate ring.

In FIG. 9 there is shown a can the upper edge of which has a diameter D slightly greater than C the diameter of the lower-most ring 16. The edge of the can however is shown inserted the full way into the space between walls 12 and 28, abutting ledge surface 26, adjacent ring 20.

As shown in FIG. as the lid and can are moved toward a closed position, the opposite edge of the can engages the upwardly, inwardly sloped edge 14a. As closing movement continues, stress is applied to the side wall 12. Since the diameter of ring 20 is much smaller than the can, and since the lid is formed of a plastic which tends to retain its shape (although resilient to a degree), such as low density polyethylene, a great amount of stress would be required to expand ring 20 to fit the can (so much so that the lid or can could be permanently bent out of shape or the contents of the can inadvertently spilled). However, according to the design shown, the surfaces are smooth to a degree to avoid detrimental restraint. Accordingly the top of the can previously inserted as shown in FIG. 9 slips downwardly as closing movement continues, first to the intermediate position on ring 18 as shown in FIG. 10 and then to proper ring 16 as shown in FIG. 8. The user can detect when the lid seats uniformly on the ledge 22 which forms the upper border of ring 16.

Referring to FIG. 8a in magnified scale it is seen that when seated, the bead 40 of the usual tin can seats against ledge 22 (which serves as a stop and point of reference) and distorts slightly outwardly the wall 12 as shown in solid lines (to be compared with the undistorted condition suggested bydotted lines). In addition to deflecting downwardly) by the head of the can, thus to provide the tact is also slightly laterally distorted (i.e. upwardly and downwardly) be the head of the can, thus to provide the desired grip and closure. Note that this occurs even when the ring surface is smoothly vertical in the unstressed condition.

Numerous variations of the specific details within the spirit and scope of the invention will occur to those skilled in this art.

What is claimed is:

I. A lid adapted to be removably placed upon a plurality of cans and other containers of varying size for storage in the refrigerator, or the like, the lid made of formretaining resilient plastic such as polyethylene, and comprising a closed top wall and an integral first side wall of circular horizontal cross-section, said closed top being joined to said first side wall by a second side wall secured to the upper portion of said first wall and extending downwardly therefrom, said second wall being spaced inwardly from said first side wall to provide entry space for the tops of containers to be covered, and a surface of said second wall shaped for sealing engagement with the top of a container, said first side wall terminating in a lower edge, the inner surface of said first side wall defined by a stepped series of substantially inwardly directed ring surfaces, said series extending upwardly from the lower edge of said first side wall, said ring surfaces centered on the same axis and decreasing in diameter from one to the other in the direction up from said lower edge, and downwardly directed ledge surfaces connecting adjacent ring surfaces whereby a container top when effectively distorting a ring surface of slightly smaller size to effect a resilient grip between the exterior surface of said top and said ring surface, can abut a ledge surface.

2. The lid of claim 1 wherein the inner surface of said second wall is shaped and exposed to grip the exterior of a container top.

3. The lid of claim 1 wherein the closed top surface is integrally joined to the lower edge of said second wall, said lower edge, said top surface and said lower edge of said first wali lying substantially in the same plane, and the upper surface of said lid is shaped as a coaster, adapted to support a tumbler.

4. The lid of claim 3 wherein the outer surface of said first wall is sloped smoothly downwardly from its upper to its lower edge.

5. The lid of claim 3 wherein the upper surface of said top has at least two integral raised projections spaced 7/ 1908 Essmuller 220--42A 5/1967 Chin 2l5lOO.5X

GEORGE T. HALL, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE (II'IH'IIFHiA'll'I 1H" (IHHHINIFI'UN Patent NU. 3, .0 4 Dated 71 mwnwrqny l i obcrt l i Hayes I It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 3, lines 13-06, cancel "In addition to deflecting downwardly) by the bead of the can, thus to provide the tact is also slightly laterally distorted (i .e upwardly and downwardly) be the bead of the can, thus to provide the desired grip and closure and substitute --In addition to deflecting outwardly the substance of the wall in the area of contact is also slightly laterally distorted (i .e

upwardly and downwardly) by the bead of the can, thus to provide the desired grip and closure.-

Signed and sealed this 2nd day of May 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD MQFLETCHERJ'R. ROBERT GOT'ISCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents RM PO-105G \110-b9? USCOMM-DC 60375-969

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification220/212, D07/624.1, 220/287, 215/393, 220/630, 215/228
International ClassificationB65D43/02, B65D25/20, B65D25/24
Cooperative ClassificationB65D25/24, B65D2543/00398, B65D2543/00416, B65D2543/00296, B65D2543/00092, B65D2543/00546, B65D2543/00527, B65D2543/00537, B65D43/022, B65D2543/00509, B65D2251/08, B65D43/0222, B65D2543/00407, B65D2543/0025
European ClassificationB65D43/02S5E, B65D25/24, B65D43/02S5D