Patent 3601172 - COLLAPSIBLE WEATHERPROOF TRAY OR BASKET FOR CROPS AND THE LIKE
|United States Patent||Patent Number 3,601,172|
|Bourquin||Issued August 24, 1971|
|**Please see images for: ( Certificate of Correction ) **|
COLLAPSIBLE WEATHERPROOF TRAY OR BASKET FOR CROPS AND THE LIKE
Collapsible basket in the form of a rectangular tray especially useful in harvesting of fragile crops such as leaf tobacco. Bottom wall of rigid plywood has side and end walls of composite structure, including panels of plastic laminate and canvas, the canvas serving to hinge sidewalls to bottom and, optionally, being extended to form flexible top closure flaps. End walls have triangular plastic laminate panels secured to canvas and defining the fold lines along which canvas may be folded inwardly to collapse empty basket. End walls have supplemental plastic laminate flaps separately hinged to bottom wall to be swung into reenforcing position against the inner surface of the end walls when basket is erected, thereby holding basket in open position. Bottom wall has flanges on all four sides extending beyond side and end walls will carry vertical loading when several filled baskets are stacked for storage or transportation.
|Inventors:||Maurice A Bourquin (N/A CT)|
|Assignee:||Corporation; The M. A. B. Machin (|
|Filed:||September 26, 1969|
|Current U.S. Class:||220/428 - 217/14 - 229/126|
|Current International Class:||B65D085/16 (20060101)|
|Current CPC Class:||B65D 15/22 (20130101); B65D 25/00 (20130101); B65D 85/16 (20130101)|
|Field of Search:||150/48,49,50 217/14|
What is claimed is:
1. In a collapsible basket in the form of a rectangular tray comprising a bottom wall of rigid material and side and end walls connected to said bottom wall, the improvement which lies in the fact that said sidewalls are composite structures each made up of flexible sheet material of fabric such as canvas hingedly connected to said bottom wall and having laminated thereto a generally rectangular panel of relatively rigid sheet material which is substantially coextensive in length and height with the sidewall of which it forms a part, said end walls are composite structures each made up of flexible sheet material of fabric such as canvas hingedly connected to said bottom wall and having laminated thereto a triangular panel of relatively rigid sheet material, the flexible sheet material of said sidewalls being secured to the flexible sheet material of said end walls to form a vertically extending hinged connection between said side and end walls at each of the four corners of said rectangular tray, said triangular panels each having a base extending along the hinged connection between said end walls and said bottom wall and substantially coextensive in length with the width of the end wall of which said panel forms a part and having an apex located substantially centrally of and coinciding with the upper edge of the end wall of which it forms a part, the sides of each of said triangular panels defining diagonally disposed predetermined potential fold lines between the relatively rigid material of said triangular panels and the flexible sheet material of said end walls, said flexible sheet material of said end walls being foldable inwardly along said predetermined fold lines and along said hinged connections with said bottom and sidewalls to lie flat upon said bottom wall while causing said sidewalls to fold inwardly and to lie upon said inwardly folded end walls when said basket is moved to collapsed position, said side and end walls being foldable in opposite manners when said basket is moved to open erected position, and supplemental panels of relatively rigid material hinged to said bottom wall along lines parallel with and adjacent to the hinged connection between each of said end walls and said bottom wall, each of said supplemental panels being substantially rectangular in shape and having effective width and height dimensions substantially equal to the corresponding dimensions of said end walls, said supplemental panels being foldable along said hinged connections thereof with said bottom wall into flattened collapsed position beneath said end walls when said basket is moved to collapsed position and being foldable into vertical planes in which they hold the end walls with which each is associated in flat taut condition to maintain said basket in open, erected position.
2. A basket in accordance with claim 1 in which said bottom wall has predetermined lengthwise and widthwise dimensions, and in which each of said sidewalls has a lengthwise dimension less than the lengthwise dimension of said bottom wall, and in which each of said end walls has a widthwise dimension less than the widthwise dimension of said bottom wall, thereby to provide flange portions of said rigid material of said bottom wall extending lengthwise and laterally beyond the hinge lines along which said end walls and sidewalls are secured to said bottom wall.
3. A basket in accordance with claim 2 in which said flexible sheet material forming a part of each of said sidewalls is laminated to the inwardly disposed surface of the relatively rigid rectangular panel forming a part of said sidewall and extends outwardly beneath the lower edge of said rectangular panel and is secured flatwise to the flange portion of said bottom wall which extends laterally beyond said sidewall.
4. A basket in accordance with claim 2 in which said flexible sheet material forming a part of each of said end walls is laminated to the inwardly disposed surface of the relatively rigid triangular panel forming a part of said end wall and extends outwardly beneath the lower edge of said triangular panel and is secured flatwise to the flange portion of said bottom wall which extends longitudinally beyond said end wall.
5. A basket in accordance with claim 3 in which said flexible sheet material forming a part of each of said end walls is laminated to the inwardly disposed surface of the relatively rigid triangular panel forming a part of said end wall and extends outwardly beneath the lower edge of said triangular panel and is secured flatwise to the flange portion of said bottom wall which extends longitudinally beyond said end wall.
6. A basket in accordance with claim 1 having top cover flaps which overlap to close said tray in erected position, said top cover flaps each comprising integral extensions of said flexible sheet material forming a part of said sidewalls, and each of said top cover flaps having relatively rigid reinforcing means secured to the regions thereof which overlap to close said tray.
7. A basket in accordance with claim 1 in which a handhole is cut through the triangular panel and through the flexible sheet material forming each of said end walls, and in which each of said supplemental panels is imperforate so as to prevent contact between contents of said basket, when erected, and a user's hands inserted through said handholes, the composite structure of each of said end walls being sufficiently flexible to permit a user's fingers to be inserted between the interior surface of said end wall and the imperforate surface of the adjacent supplemental panel.
The collapsible basket of the present invention affords a relatively lightweight uncomplicated construction which, when erected into the form of a rectangular tray with or without the closure flaps, provides rigid and durable load bearing side and end walls which are set inwardly of the side and end edges of a rigid bottom wall. When filled with some fragile material, for example, vegetables or leaf tobacco the basket may be stacked on top of other identical baskets with the load-bearing side and end wall protecting the contents from crushing. Since the side and end walls are set inwardly from the outer edges of the bottom wall considerable latitude is afforded for stacking baskets in trucks for shipment to a processing area with assurance that the upper baskets in the stack will not tilt into the lower baskets thereby damaging the contents of the latter.
A particular feature of the present invention lies in the construction of the end walls of the basket which are composites of a flexible sheet material such as canvas and a relatively rigid material such as plastic laminate. Plastic laminate in the form of a triangle with apex upwardly disposed is secured to the canvas which is rectangular and in turn secured to the end zones of sidewalls. The angularly disposed sides of the triangular plastic laminate panel define angular fold lines along which the end walls may be folded to form inwardly disposed gussets when the basket is collapsed. Since such end walls would tend to fold inwardly at all times a supplemental plastic laminate panel is hinged to the bottom wall of the basket so as to be folded upwardly into reinforcing position holding the end walls from collapse and also spanning the entire width and the entire depth of the basket so that the reenforced end walls will bear their share of vertical loading incident, for example, to stacking a number of the erected filled baskets for storage or shipment.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a basket embodying the present invention showing the same in erected and open position ready for use;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a basket of the type shown in FIG. 1 with another similar basket stacked on top thereof;
FIG. 3 is an end elevational view corresponding with FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view with parts broken away showing the basket of FIG. 1 in collapsed condition ready for return to the point of use;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the basket of FIG. 1 in a partially erected condition such as would be assumed during setup or collapsing of the basket;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view showing details of the interior surface of an end wall of the basket in erected and open condition;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view showing details of the outer surface of an end wall of the basket in erected and closed position;
FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 8--8 in FIG. 7; and
FIG. 9 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 9--9 in FIG. 7, a cover flap, however, being omitted.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring now to FIG. 1 the collapsible basket 10 of the present invention is shown in erected position ready to be filled with a product such as vegetables, fruit, tobacco leaves or the like. The basket 10 comprises a rigid bottom wall 12 made of a rugged water-resistant material such as exterior grade plywood, end walls 14 and 16 and sidewalls 18 and 20, the end and sidewalls being made of a composite of flexible material such as canvas and relatively rigid sheet material such as a plastic laminate. Cover flaps 22 and 24 preferably are made of a flexible material such as canvas and as shown herein form integral continuations of the canvas forming a part of the composite sidewalls 18 and 20.
When the basket 10 is filled the flaps 22 and 24 are folded over the contents as shown in FIG. 3. An important requirement for baskets of this general type is that they should be capable of stacking several high for transportation in trucks without danger of crushing the fragile contents of the baskets in the lower levels of such stacks. From a consideration of FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 it will be observed that the rigid bottom wall 12 of each basket 10 is somewhat larger than the top opening defined by the end and sidewalls 18, 20, 22 and 24 to provide flanges which extend laterally outwardly beyond each of the end and sidewalls. Therefore when a basket 10A is stacked upon the basket 10 as shown in FIG. 2 the end walls 14 and 16 give vertical support to the basket 10A along lines which lie well inside the lengthwise dimensions of the bottom wall 12A. Also, as shown in FIG. 3 the sidewalls 18 and 20 give vertical support to the basket 10A well within the lateral dimension of the bottom wall 12A. Thus, considerable tolerance is afforded for inaccuracy of registry of an upper basket with one beneath it, whereby with reasonable care it can be assured that the corners of upper baskets within a stack will not tend to tilt into and crush the contents of baskets in the lower part of the stack.
In FIG. 4 the basket is shown in collapsed condition for return to the field. To collapse the basket the end walls 14 and 16 are first folded inwardly and the sidewalls 18 and 20 will follow, as will be explained below, to lie flatwise upon the end walls and bottom wall 12. The top closure flaps 22 and 24 are then folded inwardly towards one another to lie upon the sidewalls 18 and 20.
An intermediate position assumed by the basket 10 during collapse or erection for use is illustrated in FIG. 5 and constructional details of the basket are most clearly shown in FIGS. 6 through 9. Referring first to FIG. 7 the sidewall 20 is made up of a sheet of canvas or similar flexible material 26 to which is laminated a relatively rigid generally rectangular panel 28, preferably made of a plastic laminate the vertical dimension of which establishes the height of the wall 20. The canvas 26 extends beneath the lower edge of panel 28 and terminates in a flange portion 30 which is adhesively secured to the upper surface of the outwardly extending portion of bottom wall 12. The canvas 26 thus serves as a hinge extending throughout the length of the sidewall 20.
The canvas 26 continues beyond the upper edge of plastic laminate panel 28 to form the flexible top cover flap 24. Preferably the flap 24 is of such length, extending transversely of the basket, as to cross the longitudinal centerline of the basket so that it and the opposite flap 22, which is of similar length, will overlap as shown in FIG. 7, thus to assure closing of the top of the basket 10, when desired. The central edge of flap 24 terminates in a turned-back portion 32 enclosing a rigid metal rod 34 (also see FIG. 6). The flap 22 also has a turned-back central edge 35 enclosing a rigid metal rod 36. The rod 34 and 36 not only serve to rigidify the overlapping edges of flaps 24 and 22 but also, because the ends thereof rest on the end walls 14 and 16 when the basket is closed, prevent other baskets or objects from depressing the flaps 24 and 22 onto the contents.
The turned-back edges of flaps 24 and 22 may be secured by stitching or the like. However, as will be described below it is preferred to use an adhesive material of such formulation as to form an extremely durable waterproof bond throughout the turned-back area, thus to permanently secure the rigid metal rods. Appropriate adhesive material will be discussed below.
The top cover flaps 24 and 22 may be omitted in any instance wherein an open structure may be preferred. Without the cover flaps the basket may be used as an open tray which is collapsible and stackable.
The sidewall 18 is the same in construction as the sidewall 20. Thus it comprises a sheet of canvas 26A and a relatively rigid panel 28A (see FIG. 6).
The end wall 14 is made up of a generally rectangular sheet of flexible material such as canvas, which includes (see FIG. 5) a foldable central portion 38 to which is laminated a triangular panel 40 of relatively rigid material, such as a plastic laminate. The lower edge portion of canvas 38 is turned under the lower edge of panel 40 to form a flange 42 which is adhesively secured to the top surface of the adjacent end of bottom wall 12. Thus the triangular panel 40 is hingedly connected with the bottom wall 12. The canvas 38 also is provided with side flanges 44 (see FIG. 7) which are adhesively secured to the inner surfaces of the canvas 26 and 26A respectively in sidewalls 20 and 18.
From a consideration of FIGS. 5 and 7 it will be apparent that the end wall 14, when in erected position, sets inwardly of the ends of the sidewalls 18 and 20 to which the end wall 14 is secured by side flanges 44. Also, the end wall 14 sets inwardly of the end of bottom wall 12 to which it is secured by the flange 42. When the end wall 14 is moved towards collapsed position, as shown in FIG. 5 the canvas panel 38 will fold along the sloping sides of triangular panel 40, thus to form gussets which will be substantially flat and will lie beneath the sidewalls 18 and 20 which are automatically drawn downwardly when the end wall 14 is thus moved.
In order to facilitate such folding, without localized strain or wrinkling, the end wall canvas panel 38 is cut away at the lower corners along angularly disposed edges 46 which, for convenience, are extended into the adjacent flanges 42 and 44. Such cutting of the corners provides relief openings at each lower corner of end wall 14. These openings also permit escape of sand or water.
The upper edge of canvas panel 38 is preferably protected against raveling by a line of overedge stitching 48 (see FIG. 5 and FIG. 9).
The opposite end wall 16 of the basket is identical in construction with the end wall 14. Thus, it comprises a canvas panel 38A, triangular plastic panel 40A and adhesively secured canvas flanges 44A (see FIGS. 5 and 6). The canvas panel 38A is cut away along sloping lines 46A to afford the relief openings described above.
A particular feature of the present invention lies in the construction of end walls 14 and 16 including the triangular panels 40 and 40A which automatically define the angular fold lines along which the end walls will fold when pushed inwardly to collapse the basket. This assures that the end walls and sidewalls will fall into smooth flat relationship without particular care or attention.
To hold the basket in erected position there are provided supplemental flaps 50 and 52 (see FIGS. 5 and 6) made of relatively rigid material such, for example, as a plastic laminate. The flaps 50 and 52 are hinged to the bottom wall 12 just inside the end walls 14 and 16 respectively. As shown in FIG. 5 the supplemental flaps 50 and 52 are lying flatwise upon the top surface of bottom wall 12, the position which the flaps assume when the basket is collapsed. In FIG. 6 the flap 52 is shown swung upwardly into operative position wherein it reinforces the end walls 16. The flaps 50 and 52 may be hinged to the bottom wall 12 by an suitable means but for the particular construction of the basket shown herein it is preferred to use strips of flexible material such as canvas which will be self-adjusting and extremely durable under the conditions of use encountered in the harvesting of field crops, for example. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 9 the end wall 14 has a centrally located opening 54 cut through the triangular panel 40 and canvas 38 and through the flange 42 to accommodate a pair of canvas strips 56 which are adhesively secured to the upper surface of the bottom wall 12 in the area exposed by the cutting away of the central portion of flange 42. The inner ends of hinge strips 56 are adhesively secured to the inner surface of the supplemental panel 50 thus to afford a hinge line substantially coinciding with the lowermost edge of the supplemental panel 50.
The supplemental panel 52 for end wall 16 (see FIG. 6) is similarly hinged by a pair of canvas hinge strips 58 which, in turn are adhesively secured to the adjacent end portion of the bottom wall 12.
Both of the supplemental panels 50 and 52 have upper, major portions which are of such width (as viewed in FIG. 8, for example) as to snugly fit between the canvas portions 26 and 26A of the sidewalls 18 and 20. Thus, when moved to operative position as shown in said FIG. 8, for example, the supplemental panels 50 and 52 will serve to stretch the associated end walls 14 and 16 out flat and frictionally engage the sidewalls so as to securely hold the basket in erected position.
Preferably, the lower edge portions of supplemental flaps 50 and 52 are sloped upwardly as shown at 58 and 60 in FIG. 8 and 62 in FIG. 6 to provide clearance therebeneath for accumulations of earth, sand or the like which otherwise might place undue strain upon the supplemental panels 50 and 52 when they are moved to operative position. The central vertical dimension of each of the supplemental panels 50 and 52 is such, allowing for the thickness of the associated hinge strips 56 or 58, as to afford a vertical load-bearing zone extending along a substantial portion of the width of the end walls 14 and 16. Thus, as viewed in FIG. 6, for example, the upper edge of flap 52 lies substantially at the same horizontal level as the upper edges of the sidewalls 18 and 20 while the lower horizontal edge portion of the flap 52 rests upon the hinge strips 58, thus firmly pressing against the bottom wall 12.
The triangular end wall panels 40 and 40A preferably are provided with a handhole 64 and 64A respectively, of appropriate size and shape to facilitate lifting and handling of the basket 10 when in erected position. Preferably, also, the handholes 64 and 64A are cut through the canvas panels 38 and 38A to which the triangular panels 40 and 40A are laminated. The supplemental flaps 50 and 52 as shown herein are not provided with matching handholes and this construction is preferred when the basket is to be used for tobacco leaves or other products which might be damaged by the fingers of a person using the handholes. In such instances the end walls 14 and 16 and the associated supplemental flaps 50 and 52 have sufficient flexibility to permit a person's fingers to be inserted through the handholes 64 and 64A and squeezed in between the inner surfaces of the end walls and the associated supplemental panels.
When the basket of the present invention is to be used solely in connection with some crop or product which does not need protection from contact with the user's fingers the supplemental panels 50 and 52 may be provided with handholes (not shown) in such position as to fall in registry with the handholes 64 and 64A when the basket 10 is in erected position.
If so desired the security of the closed filled basket 10 may be enhanced by a plurality of snap fastener elements 66 applied to the cover flaps 22 and 24 along the edge regions thereof which overlap when the basket is closed, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 for example. The mating parts of such fastener elements 66 are positioned on the lower surface of cover flap 22 and on the upper surface of cover flap 24 in the particular illustrated embodiment inasmuch as flap 22 lies on top of flap 24 when the basket is closed. Obviously this may be reversed and in instances where fastener elements are not supplied the flaps 22 and 24 may be overlapped in any sequence.
The fastener elements 66 may be any of the types of snap fastener which are customarily used with canvas in tents, tarpaulins and the like. Alternatively other suitable types of seperable fasteners may be used, for example flexible fasteners of the hook-and-loop type sold under the registered trademark "VELCRO" may be used by securing mating parts in the form of strips or tabs to the overlapping regions of the cover flaps 22 and 24.
As noted above it is preferred to secure various parts of the basket of the present invention together by the use of a suitable adhesive. To be suitable for such use an adhesive must form a very strong bond highly resistant to peeling apart of the assembled elements under rough outdoor usage which includes exposure to sun and rain. Also, preferably, the adhesive should be one which is approved by regulatory authorities for use in food containers. Adhesives of the water-based, latex emulsion types are available which meet all of the requirements established for use in the present invention. A particular adhesive of the latter type is sold by Swift & Company, identified as "Swifts No. 4252 adhesive." This particular adhesive has been used in the manufacture of fully useful versions of the present invention. In those instances the plastic laminate panels, such as the triangular panels 40 and 40A and the sidewall panels 28 and 28A were laminated to the canvas wall elements by that adhesive. Also, the canvas flanges such as 30, 40 and 42 were so secured to the bottom wall 12 and the flanges 44 were so secured to the canvas elements 26 and 26A of the sidewalls 20 and 18. Also, the supplemental panel hinge strip 56 and 58 and the turned-back edge portions 32 and 35 of flaps 24 and 22 were secured by this same adhesive.
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