US 3804952 A
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p lw 1914' Na-MCDONALD. 3,804,952
DISPENSING PACKAGE FOR FEEDING OF INFANTS Filed May 22, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet l TFIG.2.
A ril 16, 1974 w, G. M DONALD 38@4,952
DISPENSING PACKAGE FOR FEEDING OF INFANTS Filed May 22, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Apnl 16, 1974 v w. G. MQODONALD 3,304,952
msmusme women FOR FEEDING OF mums Filed May 22, 1972 Y 3 Sheets-Sheet :5
United States Patent Olfice 3,804,952 Patented Apr. 16, 1974 U.S. Cl. 426-117 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Package of disposable type consisting of a container, filled with a nursing liquid, and a combined closure and nursing attachment secured to the container to seal the contents during shipment, sale and storage and having readily removable means providing access to a nipple forming a part of the attachment. Attachment includes a tubular body forming an extension of the neck of the container, the nipple is secured inside tubular body in an inside-out disposition and nipple is enclosed by readily removable cap. Nipple has nursing opening closed by sealing device which user pulls out to reverse nipple into operative position and to unseal nursing opening. Attachment is made as a subassembly adapted for application to filled containers by conventional capping machines of various types.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION U.S. Pat. No. 3,301,423 granted Jan. 3 1, 1967 to Soto discloses an infant feeding device comprising a bottle with a two-position nipple slipped over the neck of the bottle. In one position of the nipple the head with nursing opening therein is retracted, with head facing outwardly, into the neck of the bottle and a closure is fitted to the exterior of the nipple gripping the skirt of the nipple against the exterior of the bottle neck, and enclosing the head of the nipple within the confines of the bottle. When the device is to be put to use the closure is removed and the skirt of the nipple is slid downwardly, by finger manipulation, on the exterior of the neck of the bottle to cause the head of the nipple to pop out.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,460,329 granted Feb. 1, 1949 to Allen et al. discloses a nurser made of flexible plastic sheet material wherein a nipple configuration is formed in the sheet material. This device is not intended to be used as a package for sale, storage and eventual use by a putchaser but rather is a substitute for a conventional nursing bottle and nipple which require filling and assembly by the user. This patent is not particularly pertinent as background for the present invention but is mentioned for reasons that will become apparent from the following paragraph.
Applicant has seen, but is unable at the time of filing of this application to identify by number, a patent which discloses a flexible sheet plastic container much like that shown in said U.S. Pat. No. 2,460,329 which is intended by the patentee to serve as a sales and storage package as well as to serve as a nurser. The nipple configuration in that disclosure is turned inside-out or, as the patentee describes it umbilicated when the filled package is sold. A strip of adhesive tape is used to retain the nipple turned inwardly until the package is to be put to use. Upon removal of the tape the flexible package walls are squeezed to pop the nipple out into position for use. The user then must cut or prick a nursing opening in the nipple.
Also forming a part of the background are the several available forms of wide mouth glass nursing bottles to which nipples are attached by the user after the user has sterilized and filled the bottles. Such nipples usually have annular flanges rest on the mouth of the bottles and are secured with nipple-head inwardly disposed and beneath a screw cap for storage under refrigeration for a few hours at most. When feeding time comes the user removes the screw cap, takes out the nipple and reapplies it, head out, to the bottle and secures it in that position by a screw ring which bears down on the flange. There are several variants of such devices on the market.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a package and to a combined closure and nipple attachment adapted to be secured to a filled container to form a package. The package is intended to be filled and assembled by conventional production-line equipment and distributed, sold and stored through normal commercial channels in a condition for immediate use without the need for sterilization or complicated manipulation by the mother of an infant. The package is intended to be filled With a nursing liquid, such as a milk product or other infant feeding formula or sterile water, fruit juice, diet supplements and the like. Preferably the nursing liquid is one which requires no refrigeration prior to opening of the package. The package is particularly desirable for use by traveling familites for whom refrigeration, sterilization of containers and pouring of nursing liquids into nursers is particularly inconvenient.
The present invention provides a package in which a nipple having a nursing opening therein is stored in insideout disposition within the interior of the package. The nursing opening is sealed liquid-tight by a sealing element which also is enclosed within the package. A closure cap encloses the nipple and sealing element until the package is to be used. When the cap is removed the sealing element pops up into accessible position whereupon the user pulls upon the element to reverse or pull the nipple out into position for use and to open the nursing opening.
Preferably the closure and nipple combination is made as a subsassembly which may be applied to a filled container by conventional capping machinery and also, preferably, a sealing sleeve is positioned over a closure and at least the neck of the container to assure cleanliness of the enclosed part. Alternatively the filled package may be inserted, in clean or sterilized condition at the factory, into a plastic bag which is then sealed or evacuated and sealed to protect all exterior surfaces of the package.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional view of a package embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view, with parts in section of the elements making up the package of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of a subassembly comprising the combined closure and nipple ready for application to a container;
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 are views similar to FIG. 1 but showing successive steps in the opening of the package shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the upper portion of the package of FIG. 1;
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing a first modified form of the invention;
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing. a second modified form of the invention;
FIG. :10 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing a third modified form of the invention; and
FIG. 11 is a perspective view showing a package like that of FIG. 1 enclosed in a sealed flexible bag.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings FIG. 1 is a sectional view illustrating an assembled infant-feeding package cmbodying one preferred form of the present invention. In that view and in FIG. 2, which is an exploded view of the container and closure components of the package, there is shown a bottle preferably made of a material which is sufliciently inexpensive to make it practical to dispose of the same after a single use. Thus the bottle 10 may be made of glass of the relatively light weight construction popularly used in the manufacture of nonreturnable or single-use glass containers for beverages and the like. Preferably however the bottle 10 is made of any one of the many relatively rigid plastic materials appropriate for use with food products. Thus, for example, the bottle '10 may be made of the polyethylene, polypropylene or polystyrene plastics now widely used in the manufacture of single-use containers. In particular, the use of a plastic material instead of glass for the bottle 10 is preferred because plastic bottles are relatively unbreakable and frequently are considerably lighter in weight than glass bottles.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. the bottle 10 is provided with a neck portion 12 providing access to the interior thereof. Preferably the neck portion 12 includes a shoulder portion 14 having a generally cylindrical surface 16 and a surface 18 which is annular and disposed substantially radially with respect to the axis of the neck 12. Preferably also the neck 12 is provided with one or more beads 20 for cooperation with the closure to be fitted over the outside surface of the neck 12.
Also in FIGS. 1 and 2 there is shown a cylindrical openended neck extension 22 which forms a part of the closure for the bottle 10. The extension 22 is adapted to fit onto theouter surface of the neck 12 of bottle 10. As shown in FIG. 1 the extension 22 has formed therein one or more annular grooves 24 adapted to engage with the bead or beads 20 on the neck 12 of bottle 10 in such manner as to seal and substantially permanently fix the extension 22 to the bottle 10. Preferably the extension 22 is molded from a semirigid thermoplastic material which is sufiiciently flexible and resilient to permit the extension 22 to be forced downwardly onto the neck 12 of the bottle so that the grooves 24 will seat upon the beads 20 in tight engagement. Subsequently, as will be described below the extension 22 is sealed to the neck 12 by heat and pressure.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the extension 22 is substantially greater in axial length than is the axial length of the neck 12. Thus when the extension 22 is fitted upon the neck '12 a substantial portion of the length of the extension 22 will extend above the upper end of the neck 12. In this extended upper portion of the extension 22 there is formed on the exterior thereof a plurality of beads 26, 28 and 30 which are designed for cooperation with a particular form of closure cap to be described below. The extension 22 has a nipple 32 secured to its inner surface. Preferably the nipple 32 is made of flexible resilient ma terial, for example natural or synthetic rubber, as is customary in the manufacture of nipples for use in feeding of infants. As a matter of convenience in assembly the nipple 32 is provided with an annular skirt portion '34 which is turned downwardly upon itself and the outer surface of which is secured, as shown in FIG. 1, throughout its circumference to the inner circumferential surface of the extension 22. Such securement may be effected by heat sealing if the plastic material of which the extension 22 is made lends itself to such securement at temperatures below those that might damage the rubber or other elastomeric material of which nipple 32 is made. Alternatively the nipple 32 may be secured in the position illustrated in FIG. 1 by the use of any suitable adhesive appropriate for use in conjunction with the packaging of food products.
From FIG. 1 it will be apparent that the nipple 32 is positioned in a retracted, inside-out, configuration, that is, the head of the nipple is projected downwardly toward the interior of the bottle 10. Since any of the materials of which the nipple '32 might be made are flexible and resilient it will be understood that the nipple may be turned inside out as illustrated in FIG. 1 either before or after securement of the skirt 34 thereof to the interior of the extension 22. Also it will be apparent that the nipple may be extended to an operative position protruding beyond the upper end of extension 22 by manipulation as will be described hereinbelow.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the nipple 32 is provided with a nursing opening (not numbered in these figures, but shown at B6 in FIGS. 5 and 6). The opening 36, however, is closed and sealed as shown in FIG. 1 and remains so closed until the package is to be used. A preferable form of sealing member for this purpose is indicated generally at 38 in FIGS. 1 and 2 and it comprises a molded shape made of springy plastic material having a definite memory for return to molded configuration. Sealing member 38 comprises a thin rod or bristle-like portion 40 on which there is formed a closure plug 42 which is forced into the opening 36 of nipple '32 to seal the same either by friction or by friction plus a very small amount of adhesive appropriate for use with food products. The rod or bristle portion 40 extends downwardly beyond the closure 42 and terminates in a bead 44 which has an effective diameter somewhat greater than that of the opening 36. As will be described hereinbelow, the head 44 is effective to pull the nipple 32 upwardly and outwardly of the extension 22, that is, to reverse the position of the nipple, preparatory to use of the package. The sealing element 38 is provided at its upper end, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with a fiag or tab 46 and the overall length of the sealing device 38 is such that when it is permitted to spring into a straightened position such as shown in FIG. 1, the tab or flag 46 will protrude into a position readily available to be engaged by the user who thereupon pulls upwardly on the same to unseal the nipple by withdrawal of the sealing plug 42 which action admits air to the interior of bottle 10. Continued upward movement of the sealing element will be effective to reverse the nipple and thereafter force the bead 44 through the hole '36 in the head of the nipple whereupon the sealing device 38 is discarded.
Also as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 a closure cap, indicated generally at 48, is provided to be positioned over the outer surface of the extension 22 and to close the axial opening of the extension. As will be described below, any one of a number of known closure caps may be used. The form shown in FIG. 1 is an adaptation of a flexible plastic closure cap in commercial use on low-cost disposable containers. In general the closure cap 48 includes a skirt portion 50 which is adapted to be moved downwardly to engage the ribs 26 and 28 on the outer surface of extension 22. The skirt portion 50 terminates along a circumferential line of weakening 52, which preferably is molded into the cap 48 in the form a series of elongated openings joined at their ends by very small, easily-fractured bridges 54. The upper portion of the closure cap 48 includes a tapered plug portion 55 adapted to enter the open mouth of the extension 22 and a skirt portion 56 which is adapted to make a frictional engagement with the rib 30 on extension 22. An opening tab 58 is also formed in the closure cap 48 and is so positioned that it may be grasped by the user to pull the upper portion of the cap 48 away from the skirt 50 by successive breaking of the bridges 54 along the line of weakening 52 after which the cap portion is discarded.
The closure cap 48 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 preferably is made of a relatively soft and flexible plastic material such as a polyethylene, polyvinyl or the like. The flexibility of the material is such that the upper portion thereof will act much like a captured cork in closing the mouth of the extension 22. In many commercial uses of a closure cap very much like that shown herein at 48 the removable portion of the cap may be reapplied to the mouth of the container, like a cork, so as to provide for repeated access to the contents. This feature is of no value herein and for practical purposes, as will be discussed below in other modifications of this invention. the specific contours of the cap shown in FIG. 1 need not be employed, so long as the cap affords a tight original seal.
Also in FIGS. 1 and 2 there is shown a shrinkable sleeve 60 which is adapted to fit over the closure cap 48 to seal the line of openings 52 and to extend downwardly through the full length of the extension 22 and into engagement with the surface 16 of the shoulder 14 on bottle 10. The shrinkable sleeve 60 may be'made of any suitable shrinkable material including the water-soaked regenerated cellulose sleeves widely used in the sealing of liquor bottles or it may be made of any form of shrinkable plastic such as oriented polyethylene or expanded plastic materials. The shrinkable sleeve 60 preferably also is provided with a tear-tab 62 which may be integral with the sleeve 60 and which protrudes, after application to the package, into a position to be grasped by the user who utilizes it to tear the tab away from the container. To facilitate such tearing, many commercially-used shrink sleeves have lines of perforations. These are not used in the present invention inasmuch as the integrity of the sleeve 60 is relied upon for maintaining cleanly condition of the entire upper end of the package. Therefore it is recommended that, when weakening is required the sleeve 60 be provided with score lines 64 (see FIG. 2) on laterally opposite sides of the tab 62, such score lines being impressed or molded only part way through the thickness of the sleeve to form a line of weakening which is impermeable to air, moisture or contaminating substances.
As has been indicated above a primary feature of the present invention is that the bottle closure having the nipple therein may be supplied to the bottling plant as a subassembly ready to be placed on filled bottles by capping machinery of conventional type. Such subassembly is shown in FIG. 3 in which the closure cap 48 has been pressed downwardly, as viewed in FIG. 1, upon the neck extension 22 positioning the skirt 50 over the ribs 26 and 28 of the extension 22 and inserting the tapered plug portion 55 tightly into the mouth of the extension 22. With the parts held in this position the skirt portion 50 of closure cap 48 preferably is tightly sealed against the ribs 26 and 28 of extension 22. Depending on the type of plastic materials used, such sealing may be affected by heat and pressure exerted upon the outer surface of the skirt 50 to deform the same into intimate contact with the ribs 26 and 28. Such deformation may be the result of shrinkage, or mechanical deformation and heat setting, for example. Alternatively an adhesive may be used to secure the skirt portion 50 to the extension 22. It will be noted in FIG. 2 that the securing of the closure cap 48 to extension 22 has resulted in forcing the sealing member 38 into a temporarily distorted condition in which it will remain until the completed package is put into use.
The sub-assembly as shown in FIG. 3 is ready to be applied to a bottle by suitable automatic capping devices. Ordinarily the latter will be in a production line which includes means for filling sterilized bottles 10' with a nursing liquid 66 such as a food product, sterile water or fruit juice, to complete the package shown in FIG. 1.
In the particular embodiment shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 the capping machine may be of the type which forces the subassembly shown in FIG. 3 downwardly upon the neck of the bottle. Assuming that the plastic material of which extension 22 is made is somewhat resilient the grooves 24 inside extension 22 will snap over the ribs on the neck of bottle 10. The seal thus effected may be adequate. However, if desired, each closed package may be further sealed by means such as a hot roller to fuse or deform the extension 22 into intimate contact with the bottle neck 12.
After the subassembly shown in FIG. 3 has been secured upon a bottle 10 having a nursing liquid 66 therein the shrinkable sealing sleeve 60 is caused to shrink into sealing engagement with the cap 48, extension 22 and bottle shoulder 14 as described above. The shrinkable sleeve 60 may have been placed over the bottle neck first and the subassembly of FIG. 3 then may have been inserted centrally thereof by the capping machine. Otherwise the subassembly may be secured upon the bottle and the shrinkable sleeve is thereafter dropped over the cap by suitable automatic devices. In either event the sleeve 60 will be caused to shrink by evaporation of water or other solvent or by heat, whatever may be appropriate for the particular sleeve involved. From an inspection of FIG. 1 it will be apparent that the contents 66 of the completed package are sealed therein by what may be described as a triple seal. First, the nipple in which the opening 36 is sealed by plug 42 isolates the contents from the upper regions of the subassembly. Second, the extension 22 is firmly sealed against the neck of the bottle by cooperation of the ribs 20 and grooves 24 to isolate the contents 66 from the ambient conditions outside the package. Third, the exterior portions of the shoulders 14 of the bottle, the exterior portions of extension 22 and the cylindrical exterior surfaces of the skirt 50 and closure cap 48 are all sealed by the now shrunken plastic sealing sleeve 60. By so covering these surfaces the sealing sleeve 60 supplements the sealed nipple 32 and the sealed engagement *between the interior of extension 22 and exterior of bottle neck 12. Also, the sleeve 60 covers and seals the line of perforations 52 between the skirt 50 and cap 48, thus isolating the upper regions of the subassembly, including the interior of the retracted nipple 32, from the ambient conditions outside the package.
When the package just described in connection with FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 is to be put into use the user will follow the sequence of operations illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4, 5 and 6. In FIG. 1 the tab 62 of the sealing sleeve 60 is grasped by the user and the sleeve is ruptured and removed from the package. In FIG. 4 the user grasps the tab 58 on cap 48 and removes the upper portion of the cap 48 by successive rupturing of the bridges 54 in the line of perforations 52. This leaves the skirt portion 50 of the cap 48 secured to extension 22. As shown in FIG. 4 the rod or bristle-like portion 40 of sealing member 38 straightens into its memory configuration and the tab or flag 46 is thus exposed in accessible position as soon as the upper portion of cap 48 is removed.
In FIG. 5 the user has grasped the tab or flag 46 and has pulled upwardly thereon to remove the plug 42 from the hole 36 in nipple 32. The contents '66 of the package may have been sealed under a partial vacuum but in any event the volume of air or other gas beneath the nipple will be relatively small. The removal of plug 42 will admit ambient atmosphere into the package in the brief period of time following removal of plug 42 and engagement of the bead 44 with the head of the nipple 32. The atmosphere thus admitted will equalize gaseous pressure on the opposite surfaces of nipple 32 whereupon continued upward pulling on the sealing member 38 can be effective, with little effort, to reverse the nipple 32 into a position for use extending beyond the mouth of extension 22. The head 44 which has a greater effective diameter than that of the hole 36 in the nipple will serve to transfer the upward pulling force on member 38 to the nipple to cause such reversal. When reversal is complete continued pulling on member 38 will be effective to force head 44 through the hole 36, with attendant stretching of adjacent regions of the elastomeric material from which nipple 32 is made, and the member 38 may now be discarded. The final position of parts wherein the package is ready for use is shown in FIG. '6.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of the upper portion of the closed and sealed package which is shown in section in FIG. 1. FIG. 7 is presented to more clearly show the relationship between the tab 62 of sleeve 60 and the score lines 64 which are indicated in broken lines and which are provided to facilitate rupturing and removal of sleeve 60 by manipulation of tab 62. As noted above the score lines 64 do not penetrate entirely through the thickness of sleeve 60 so that the sleeve 60 will effectively cover and protect all surfaces therebeneath. FIG. 7 also shows more clearly the external configuration of the top of the particular commercially available plastic closure cap which has been adapted for use in this illustrative embodiment of the present invention.
A modified embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 8 wherein use is made of another form of commercially available closure cap. In FIG. 8 the bottle 110 with contents 166 is shown in closed and sealed condition, thus constituting a package. The subassembly which has been applied to the filled bottle 110 by the capping machine comprises a cylindrical extension 122 similar to the extension 22 in FIG. 1 except that it is provided with external screw threads 168 for cooperation with internal screw threads 170 in a rigid molded plastic cap 172 provided with a gasket or sealing disc 174. The subassembly is made up by screwing the cap 172 tightly upon the extension 122, forming a seal between the upper end of extension 122 and the gasket 174. The subassembly then is ready to be applied to the filled bottle 110 and covered by a shrinkable plastic sleeve 160 in the same manner as described above in connection with FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. The molded plastic cap 172 shown in FIG. 8 may be of the rigid type made of phenolic or similar resins and now widely used for closing proprietary medicine bottles and the like. Obviously also, the cap 172 may be made of a softer or more attractively colored plastic material if such is thought to be more appropriate for use in an infant feeding package. In any event, when the package is to be put into use the sealing sleeve 160 is ruptured and removed and the cap 172 is then removed by unscrewing the same from the extension 122 which remains sealed to the bottle 110.
In 'FIG. 9 a further modification of the present invention is shown wherein use is made of a metal screw cap which may be similar to or identical with those metal screw caps currently in wide use, for example, on soft drink and club soda bottles. In this FIG. 9 the subassembly which is applied to a bottle 210 filled with contents 266 comprises an extension 222 similar to the extension 22 in FIG. 1 except that it is provided with external screw threads 268 for cooperation with screw threads 270 formed in a metal screw cap 272 having a gasket or sealing disc 274 therein. The cap 272 is tightly screwed to the extension 222. A nipple 232 with a removable sealing element 238 is sealed to the inner surface of the extension 222 as in the preceding embodiments. The subassembly is applied to a filled bottle and a shrinkable plastic sleeve 260 is applied thereover in the same manner as described above in connection with FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. When the package is put into use the sleeve 260 is ruptured and removed and metal screw cap 272 is unscrewed and removed leaving the extension 222 sealed to the bottle as is the case in the embodiments described above.
A further modification of the present invention is shown in FIG. 10. In this embodiment a cylindrical extension 322 is molded from a semirigid plastic material, such as polyethylene, polypropylene and the like, integrally with a removable closure cap 372. The cap 372 and extension 322 are joined, as molded, by small bridges 354 formed at the ends of elongated openings 352 which constitute a line of weakening extending circumferentially of the molded body. A nipple 332 with removable sealing element 338 is secured inside the extension 322 at a level below the line of weakening 352, 354. The integral extension 322 and cap 372 with the nipple 332 and sealing element 338 thus constitutes a subassembly which is then secured, as by a suitable capping machine, to a bottle 310 filled with contents 366. The subassembly is then covered by a shrinkable plastic sleeve 360, like sleeve 60 in FIG. 1, in the same manner as described above in connection with FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. When the package is put into use the sleeve 360 is ruptured and removed. The cap portion 372 is then grasped by tab 358 and is removed by successive rupturing of the bridges 354.
In all of the modifications shown in FIGS. 1 through 10 the external sealing'sleeves 60-360 may be made of self-adhering tape instead of the shrinkable cellulosic or plastic materialsdescribed above. In the modifications shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 9 a tape having a stretchable plastic base should be used because of the varying diameters to which it must be sealed. In FIGS. 8 and 10 the shoulders of the extensions 122 and 322 and the shoulders of the bottles and 310 are made the same in external diameter as that of the extensions 122 and 322 and of the cap portions thereof whereby the tape will be applied to surfaces which make up a cylinder. Thus, in FIGS. 8 and 10 a tape with a metal or nonstretchable base may be used as well as a tape with a stretchable base. In all cases the self-adhering adhesive on such tapes should be one that is appropriate for food products, particularly milk or infant-feeding formulas.
In all of the modifications in FIGS. 1 through 10, whether a shrinkable sleeve or a tape is used for the elements 60-360 it will be recognized that the surfaces covered by such elements will be kept clean through the normal sequences of packing, shipping, sale and storage. The surfaces thus kept clean until use are those which are most likely to come into direct contact with an infants mouth. By selecting proper materials for the elements 60-360 these surfaces may be kept free from harmful bacteria since shrinkable plastics, stretchable plastics and/ or appropriate adhesive coatings which are impermeable to bacteria are available from commercial sources.
In FIG. 11, the package shown in FIG. 10 but without the sealing sleeve 360 is shown enclosed in a sealed bag or tube 376 which serves to maintain all of the surfaces of the package clean and/ or sterile. The bag or tube may be made from any suitable material including paper, which would serve, at least, to keep the package clean, as well as from plastic film materials which may be heatsealed or adhesively sealed. Preferably the package is enclosed in a bag or tube 376 of plastic film after the exterior surfaces of the package have been sterilized and the bag or tube 376 thereafter is evacuated and sealed tightly flattened against the package so that a user may be assured of sterility so long as the evacuated bag shows no evidence of inward leaking of air. In FIG. 11 the sealing sleeve 360 has been omitted since it is not required when a tightly sealed plastic bag or tube 376 is used. However, the sleeve may be used even though the entire package is to be enclosed in a bag or tube 376 if so desired, in which event the sleeve would, at least, contribute to strength of the closure. Obviously any of the forms of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 10 may be enclosed in a bag or tube such as 376 shown in FIG. 11, with or without a sealing sleeve as may be appropriate for the type of material used in the bag or tube corresponding with bag or tube 376 in FIG. 11.
In FIG. 11, the bottle 310 is shown as triangular in horizontal cross-section. Such configuration is preferred and, indeed, is preferred for all of the forms of package shown in FIGS. 1 through 10. The preference for such configuration is based partly on the fact that such configuration is somewhat unusual and eye-catching but, more importantly, on the facts that it is pleasant and easy to handle by both mother and infant and furthermore it lends itself to close packing in cases or the like with minimal waste of space. Also, it is preferred that the triangular bottle be made of a lightweight plastic material to reduce overall weight of the package or of a case of such packages. Since the packages of the present invention are intended to be particularly useful and attractive to persons who are traveling the triangular lightweight version thereof has evident advantages. However, it should be pointed out that the cross-section of the bottles may be circular, oval, square or of any other shape that may be preferred for any reason.
In all of the modifications in FIGS. 1 through 10 the extensions 22-322 have been disclosed as being adapted to be pushed onto the necks of the bottles -310 after the bottles have been filled. Thus they are adapted to be applied by capping machines of a type in wide use. Another typical class of capping machines in wide use have rotary chucks and are adapted to apply closures having internal screw threads to bottles having mating screw threads formed on the necks thereof. If so desired any of the bottles 10-310 and extensions 22-322 shown herein may be provided with matching screw threads to adapt the subassemblies such as that shown in FIG. 3 for application to threaded bottle necks. In those modifications of this invention such as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 wherein the caps 172 and 272 are threaded onto the extensions 122 and 222 the substitution of threads for securing the extensions 122 and 222 to the bottles 110 and 210 will make it necessary to assure that the latter threads are much more difficult to unscrew than the threads on the caps 172 and 272. This can be done by appropriate design of the two sets of threads in each instance or by applying adhesive material, for example, between the extensions 122 and 222 and the necks of the bottles.
It is recognized that many plastic materials from which bottles 10-310, for use in the present invention, may
be made, may or may not be approved at the present time by Federal or other governmental agencies for the packaging and sale of the particular type of food products required for the feeding of infants. Since this situation is in a state of rapid development and change as new plastic materials are introduced and new governmental regulations are issued, it is pointed out that, at least, any of the bottles 10-310 disclosed herein may be made of glass at the present time for packaging and sale of milk or milk products and multipolymer acrylic materials may be used for packaging and sale of fruit juices, and that the selection of plastic materials for any such bottles must be made in conformity with governmental regulations and accepted commercial standards at any given time and/or geographical location. The selection of specific materials for the bottles or other components of packages embodying the present invention does not constitute a part of the invention, per se, and the scope of the invention is to be determined only by the claim.
What is claimed is:
1. In a package comprising a container made of a material which is at least semirigid and having a neck with an open mouth, a nursing liquid in said container, and a combined closure and nursing attachment adapting said package for sale and for eventual consumption of said nursing liquid by nursing, said attachment comprising a tubular body having a portion secured to the neck of said container and a portion which extends outwardly beyond the neck of said container whereby said tubular body constitutes an extension of said neck, said extension having an open mouth, a nipple having a head with a nursing opening of predetermined diameter formed therein, said nipple having a circumferential flange portion securely sealed throughout the circumference thereof to the inner surface of said portion of said tubular body which extends outwardly from the mouth of said container, said nipple being formed from a flexible resilient material and being disposed inside-out within said tubular body so as to lie entirely below the level of the open mouth of said tubular body and with said head extending toward the interior of the container, a readily removable closure cap secured to said tubular body, said closure cap including means for closing and forming a liquid-tight seal with the mouth of said tubular body thus to enclose said nipple in inside-out disposition within said tubular body until a user desires to remove said closure cap for access to said nipple, and removable sealing means for said nursing opening in said nipple made accessible by removal of said closure cap for pulling said nipple into a reversed disposition outwardly from the mouth of said tubular body, said sealing means comprising an elongated substantially straight rod made of flexible and resilient material extending through said nursing opening, the improvement which comprises said rod having a diameter less than the diameter of said nursing opening, a plug having a diameter greater than the diameter of said nursing opening and fixed to said rod and positioned in said nursing opening to seal said nursing opening while said nipple remains in said inside-out position, said rod including an elongated portion having a diameter less than the diameter of said nursing opening and extending beyond said plug into the interior of said container, and a bead having a diameter greater than the diameter of said nursing opening in said nipple fixed to the end of said elongated portion, the diameter of said elongated portion being sufliciently less than the diameter of said nursing opening that when a user first pulls upon said sealing means said plug is removed from said nursing opening exposing the interior of said container to ambient air and upon continued pulling upon said sealing means said bead is brought into engagement with the interior of said nipple for pulling of said nipple into said reversed position after which continued pulling upon said sealing means is effective to force said head through said nursing opening to accomplish removal of said sealing means from said package.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,956,702 10/1960 Ransom 215-11 R 3,117,874 1/1964 Horan 99-171 ND 3,146,904 9/1964 Hansen et a1. 99-171 ND 2,876,113 3/1959 Barton 99-171 ND 2,628,912 2/1953 Horan 99-171 ND 2,628,913 2/1953 Horan 99-171 ND 3,677,429 7/1972 Labarge 251-11 X 3,635,724 1/1972 Schaar 99-171 ND 3,255,923 6/1966 Soto 99-171 ND 2,771,073 11/1956 Mills 128-252 3,549,036 12/1970 Ritsi 215- 11 C FOREIGN PATENTS 758,943 10/ 1956 Great Britain 215-38 A FRANK W. LU'ITER, Primary Examiner S. L. WEINSTEIN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.