US 3570028 A
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March 16, 1971 R. v. DE LA HITTE 3,570,028
JAR AND BOTTLE OPENER Filed Aug. 8, 1968 42 17 sun ('1' RODOLPLl/E V. dc hHITTE JAR AND BOTTLE OPENER Rodolphe V. de la Hitte, 2547 Musgrave St., Victoria, British Columbia, Canada Filed Aug. 8, 1968, Ser. No. 751,161 Claims priority, application Canada, Aug. 12, 1967,
Int. Cl. B25f 1/00; B67b 7/44 US. Cl. 714.6 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An opener for screw top lids having a handle and a head, the head having a substantially pear-shaped opening one side edge of which is smooth and the other of which is serrated so that the lid can be inserted into the opening and the opener turned relative to the lid so that the opener pivots about the region where the serrated edge contacts the lid to cause said serrated edge to grip the side of the lid.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a tool for removing screw covers from bottles, jars and other similar containers and also for removing crown caps from soft drink bottles and the like.
Many types of tools have been suggested for use in removing the screw caps of jars which have been overtightened to a point where they cannot readily be removed by hand. Such tools have a number of disadvantages for example, they are often awkward and cumbersome to manipulate and adjust with the result that the tools do not appear to be widely used. One reason certain openers now on the market are not popular with housewives, is that a considerable amount of pressure must be applied before the required grip is obtained by the tool on the lid and this force must be maintained as the lid is turned by the tool otherwise slip will occur. Other known tools require a rather complicated adjustment before they can be put to use. In the case of some tools, the gripping force often is applied directly or partially to the threaded portion of the lid with the result that the lid is tightened further by application of the tool and then an even greater turning effort is required. Also, several of the conventional tools have a tendency to deform the lids which normally are made of thin sheet stock. Because of this, the lids cannot be used again if a perfect seal is required, such as would be necessary if the container was, for example, to be used for home preserves.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present opener overcomes these disadvantages by providing a tool which is designed to automatically grip a lid above the threaded lower portion thereof which will offer the most resistance to compression so that a turning force may be applied where it will be most effective. To ensure a proper grip on the lid, the opener is provided with a locating member, which bears against the top of the lid so that the gripping parts of the tool will engage the sides of the lid above the threaded portion, this part of the lid being the strongest and often being knurled for added strength and to provide a non-skid surface. Thus, the threaded portion of the lid is not clamped to the jar in a manner which would tighten the lid and make it more diflicult to remove. Also, the likelihood of the lid being damaged during removal is reduced and the lid may be used again without its sealing properties being impaired. By providing serrations on one side only of the opener, it has been found that less effort is required to operate the tool and that a more positive grip is provided on the lid.
United States Patent 3,570,928 Patented Mar. 16, 1971 The serrations on one side only also enables the tool to be instantly disengaged by a slight reverse rotation once the lid has been loosened on the jar.
Other features and advantages of the present tool are: the opener lends itself to manufacture by a simple stamplng process from thin sheet material with the result that the tool is economical to produce; the opener, although thin and of lightweight construction, has the strength and rigidity for the task it is required to perform; the finished product makes an attractive article of kitchen ware which can be displayed alongside other kitchen utensils; the tool will serve equally as well for use in opening crown capped bottles; and a handle is provided for the opener which can be secured thereto without the need for fasteners.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan of the opener with part of the handle broken away,
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 is an enlarged transverse section taken on the line 33 of FIG. 1,
FIG. 4 is a plan of another embodiment of the opener, and FIG. 5 is a longitudinal section taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4,
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary plan of still another embodiment of the opener fitted with a handle which is shown in section.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The opener 9 illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 comprises a head indicated generally at 10, a shank indicated generally at 11, and a tank generally indicated by the numeral 12. These parts of the opener are formed of suitable sheet material, such as a rust resisting steel, and the tool is manufactured by a stamping process which will give the required shape and form to the aforesaid parts in a single operation. If desired, the opener can be chromeplated for appearance and durability before being fitted with a handle.
The head 10 is substantially pear-shaped or of generally ovate shape which provides it with a large inner or shank end 15 and a small outer end or tip 16. Stamped out of the head 10, is a similarly shaped opening 18 having a large end edge 19, a small end edge 20, and opposing side edges 21. Edges 19 and 20 are substantially semi-circular while the side edges 21 are curved outwardly as they converge from the large end edge to the small end edge of the opening 18.
Side edge 21a is provided with serrations 24 which extend from a point adjacent the edge 19 well into the small end edge 20. The serrations 24 comprise a number of saw teeth 25, each tooth having a leading edge 27 which is disposed at right angles to the adjacent side edge of the opening, and a trailing edge 28 which is outwardly inclined at an acute angle to said leading edge. The edges 27 and 28 of each tooth are connected together by a rounded tip 29.
As the opening 18 is stamped from the head 10, a portion of the metal is left to provide a longitudinally extending tongue 32 which is reduced in width from the edge 19 towards the edge 20. Near the edge 19, the tongue 32 is bent upwardly or offset as at 33 so that said tongue is disposed a predetermined distance above the top surface of the head 10 and extending parallel thereto. The head 10 has been described as being pear-shaped with the large end located near the shank 11 and the small end projecting outwardly therefrom. Preferably, the opener is made in this manner but it may be desirable to reverse the positions of the head ends and form the small end integrally with the shank 11 and have the large end remote from said shank. The tongue 32 would then preferably project inwardly from the large end of the head and towards the shank.
The shank 11 is provided with a bottle opening device generally indicated by the numeral 35. Device 35 is formed by a centrally disposed and transversely extending and elongated opening 36 which is shaped to provide rounded ends 37, a pivot 38, and a lever 39. The pivot 38 and lever 39 oppose one another across the opening 36 and are located along the longitudinal axis of the tool.
The tang 12 is stamped out in the shape of a fork which has two prongs 42, see FIG. 1. These two prongs diverge slightly from the shank 11 to their outer ends 43, the ends terminating in a sharpened point but being rounded where they merge with the opposing inner edges 44 of the prongs. The prong edges 44 converge from the ends 43 and merge with a semi-circular inner end edge 45.
Fitted to the tang 12 is a handle generally indicated by the numeral 48. Preferably, the handle 48 is formed of plastic which is molded into a flat block having an outer end 49, an inner end 50, and inwardly tapering sides 51. Handle 48 has side edge grooves 53 and an inner end edge groove 54, the grooves forming a continuous channel around the inner end of the handle. The grooves 53 terminate a short distance from the handle end 49 and the terminal ends 56 of said grooves are shaped to conform to the opposing portions of the ends 43 of the prongs 42. From the ends 56, the inner edges 57 of the grooves 53 taper inwardly to a rounded inner end 58.
Handle 48 is fitted to the tang 12 by entering the prongs 42 into the grooves 53. The prongs are slightly thicker than the width of the grooves 53 and the plastic material is required to be spread somewhat as the handle is advanced along the tang. Also, the distance between the groove edges 57 is slightly greater than the distance between the edges 44 of the prongs and therefore the prongs are forced apart slightly as the handle is fitted to the tang. Thus, a wedging action is achieved which firmly secures the handle to the tang. It will be noted the ends 43 and of the prongs do not contact the adjacent parts of the handle, thus the handle is firmly wedged on the tang and does not require additional fastening means.
Referring now particularly to FIG. 2, the numeral 64 indicates generally a screw top lid for a jar 65 which might be a large commercial size jar. Lid 64 is typical of many such lids and is provided with a knurled band 67. The band 67 is formed on the side of the lid near the top 68 thereof. Below the band 67, the side of the cap is provided with a threaded portion 69 which extends down to a lower rim 70.
To open the jar 65, the opener is placed over the jar so that the top of the lid projects through the widest part of the opening 18 and the tongue 32 comes in contact with the lid top 68. The side edges 21 are now aligned with the knurled band 67 and, when a pull is exerted on the handle in a direction away from the jar, the side edges 21 are brought into contact with the lid. Light pressure is maintained on the handle 48 and the opener is given a turn of a few degrees in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1. Initial rotation of the opener in this direction causes the side edge 21b to slide a very short distance on the band 67 whereupon the serrations 24 are swung into driving engagement with the band. It will be noted that the sliding movement of the edge 21b along the lid results in the lid being forced progressively and slightly into the small end of the opening 18 which causes the serrations 24 to bite deeper into the lid. Thus, the tighter the lid has been screwed on to the container, or the greater the resistance encountered, the more the tool will automatically increase its grip on the lid. The lid is now firmly gripped by the serrations and is wedged against the side 21b so that when the opener is rotated further in a counterclockwise direction, the lid 64 is unscrewed 4 from the jar. Other smaller screw lids can be removed just as readily and even a very small lid such as that of a medicine bottle can be removed by inserting the lid into the small end of the opening 18. Since the serrations 24 extend into the small-end edge 20 the same turning action is achieved.
In FIG. 2, the numeral 72 indicates a narrow neck bottle such as a beer bottle and the numeral 73 indicates a crown cap conventionally in use as a stopper for this type of bottle. To remove cap 73, the opener is placed over the bottle and a portion of the rim of said cap is moved through the opening 3'6. This places the fulcrum 38 in approximately the centre of the cap and the lever 39 beneath the lower rim of the cap. With the cap thus gripped by the device 35, very little effort is required to pry the cap from the bottle which is accomplished by raising the handle 48 and if necessary depressing the head 10.
In the modification shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, an opener 75 is provided which is reduced in size so that it can conveniently be carried about in the pocket or purse of the user. The modified opener is also stamped from a fiat plate or other suitable piece of sheet material to provide a head 76, a shank 77, and a handle 78 having a hole 79 to receive a supporting nail or other hanger, not shown. Head 76 has a substantially egg-shaped opening 80 with a large end edge 81, a small end edge 82, and opposing side edges 83. Side edge 83a is provided with serrations 85 similar to those previously described, while edge 83b is smooth.
Shank 77 has a bottle opening device 87 therein comprising an opening 88 which communicates with the opening 80. Between the openings 80 and 88, two opposing lugs 89 are formed, the lugs merging with adjacent edges of said openings. The lugs 89 provide the device 87 with a fulcrum 90, and a lever 91 projects into the opening 88 opposite said fulcrum.
The modified opener 75 is used in the previously described manner to remove screw toplids from jars and crown caps from bottles. The modified opener is also adapted to be inverted and used to tighten a screw cap lid.
Referring now to the Figure 6 embodiment, the opener 92 is provided with the type of head and shank shown best in FIG. 1. Extending outwardly from the shank 11, is a tang 94 which tapers inwardly towards its rounded outer end 95. The side edges 96 of the tang diverge from the end towards sloping shoulders 97, the shoulders being disposed at an obtuse angle to the side edges of the tang.
Tang 94 is fitted with a handle 99 formed of a flattened block of plastic or similar material and having an inner end 100 and side edges 101. A groove 102 is formed in the end 100 to extend from side-edge to side-edge of the handle. Groove 102 extends across the inner end of a longitudinal recess 103, the recess being flat and having opposing side edges 104 which converge towards the rounded outer end of said recess. Recess 103 has sloping inner end edges 106 which are disposed angularly relative to the side edges 104.
The handle 99 is fitted to the tang 94 by inserting the small end of said tang through the groove 102 and into the recess 103 until no further relative movement can take place. It will then be found that the handle is wedged on the tang since the spacing between the side edges 96 of the tang is greater than the spacing between the opposing side edges 104 of the handle and therefore the plastic material is required to yield slightly as the handle is forced fully home and, in doing so, securely grips the metal tang. Thus, the handle is a press fit on the tang and is secured so that it is unlikely to come adrift during normal use of the opener. It will be noted that the ends 95 and 105 of the tang and the recess are spaced apart so as not to interfere with the wedging action. Also, it will be noticed that the shoulders 97 and edges 106 of the tang and the recess are in contact only near the side edges 101 of the handle. The plastic at these points of contact can spread slightly, if necessary, to ensure the desired wedging effect and also to close off the groove 102 and recess 103 from the sides of the opener.
What is claimed is:
1. An opener comprising a head with a handle attached to and extending from the head, the head having an opening defined, at least in part, by two converging side edges one of which is serrated and the other of which is smooth, the side edges being adapted to contact circumferentially spaced portions on the side of a screw top lid located within the opening, the smooth edge initially having sliding engagement with the lid when the opening is turned relative to the lid to urge the serrated edge into gripping engagement with the lid, a tang connected to the head and projecting outwardly therefrom, said tang being forked to provide transversely spaced prongs, and a handle block having side edge grooves in which the prongs are lodged, said prongs being larger than the side edge grooves to bind therein and resist removal of the handle block from the tang.
2. An opener as claimed in claim 1, in which said prongs have opposing side edges which diverge outwardly, said grooves having inner edges disposed parallel to the corresponding side edges of the prongs, the spacing between the inner edges of the grooves being greater than the spacing between the side edges of the prongs whereby the handle is wedged on the tang.
3. An opener comprising a head, a shank and a tang integrally formed of sheet material; said head having a substantially pear-shaped opening provided with a small end edge, a large end edge, and opposing side edges; serrations formed on one of the side edges and extending into the small end edge, a tongue integrally formed on the large end edge and extending longitudinally of the opening to terminate adjacent the small end edge, said tongue being disposed a predetermined distance above the top surface of the head and extending parallel thereto, the other of the side edges being smooth, said side edges being adapted to contact circumferentially spaced portions on the side of a screw top lid projecting into the opening, said smooth side edge initially having sliding engagement with the lid when the head is rotated relative to said lid to urge the serrations into gripping engagement therewith, said shank having a transversely elongated opening, a fulcrum and a lever projecting into the shank opening on opposite sides thereof, said fulcrum and lever being disposed along the longitudinal axis of the head and shank and adapted to coact to pry a crown cap from a bottle, said tang being forked to provide transversely spaced prongs, a handle block having side edge grooves in which said prongs are lodged, said prongs having opposing side edges which diverge outwardly, said grooves having inner edges disposed parallel to the corresponding side edges of the prongs, the spacing between the inner edges of the grooves being greater than the spacing between the side edges of the prongs whereby the handle block is wedged on the tang.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,707,804 4/1929 Haase 714.6 2,031,420 2/ 1936 Lebherz 8 l-3.1X 2,568,612 9/1951 Cullen 813.1X
TRAVIS S. MCGEHEE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 813.l