This invention relates generally to containers such as cosmetic compacts and more particularly to improved hinge means therefor.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In addition to constantly striving to improve the appearance of a cosmetic compact, the manufacturer must find means for minimizing manufacturing costs in order to remain competitive. One of the variables of manufacturing costs is assembly procedure. It follows that the more complicated the construction, the more costly it will be to assemble the finished article.
Accordingly, it is a primary consideration of substantially all manufacturers to design the compact such that the manufacturing and assembly techniques are of the simplest order. In keeping with this consideration, the present invention provides improved compact construction by eliminating the need for fasteners to hold the hinge plates in place.
In its broadest aspect, the present invention provides upper and lower insert members that are positioned in upper and lower cover members, respectively. In one embodiment the insert members have radially extending notches formed in the peripheral wall thereof in order to receive similarly oriented tabs that are formed integrally with the hinge member. The tabs are positioned into the recesses in the insert members and then the cover members are secured to the insert members, for example by adhesive means. Thus the peripheral walls or flanges of the cover members overlap and retain the hinge plates. Construction of this type eliminates the need for rivets, screws or other fasteners for retaining the hinge plate.
Accordingly, it is the primary object of the present invention to provide an improved cosmetic compact.
Another important object of this invention is to provide a cosmetic compact having hinge means secured thereto without additional fasteners.
An advantage of the present invention is that the construction permits lower manufacturing costs.
A feature of the present invention is that fastener means for the hinge plate need not be stocked and inventoried.
A specific object of the present invention is to provide hinge means that are loosely coupled to the insert members of the cosmetic compact and which are held thereon by means of the cover members of the compact.
A feature of the present invention is that it avoids the unsightly tabs, notches, rivets, etc., often present when attached hinges are employed.
A particular object of this invention is to provide a separate hinge construction which looks like an integral hinge.
A different object is to provide a compact with a hinge which automatically positions the mirror containing cover at the correct viewing angle when open.
These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will, in part, be pointed out with particularity and will, in part, become obvious from the following more detailed description of the invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, which forms an integral part thereof. In the various Figures of the Drawing, like reference characters designate like parts.
IN THE DRAWING
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a partially open cosmetic compact which comprises the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the hinge means comprising the present invention;
FIG. 3 is an exploded, sectional view illustrating the components of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, exploded view taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional elevational view illustrating the components of FIG. 3 in their assembled condition;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional elevational view with portions of the present invention removed for clarity and illustrating a novel feature; and
FIG. 7 is an exploded sectional view illustrating a modification of the present invention.
Referring now particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown the compact 10 comprising the present invention. The compact includes upper and lower insert members 12 and 14, respectively, and upper and lower cover members 16 and 18, respectively. Hinge means 20 are, in a manner to be described more fully hereinafter, secured to the insert members 12 and 14.
As shown particularly in FIG. 2, the hinge means 20 is comprised of hinge plates 22 and 24, which have interdigitated fingers 26 and 28, respectively. A hinge pin 30 couples the fingers 26 and 28 in a conventional manner. The outboard end of the hinge plates 22 and 24 are provided with tabs 32a, 32b and 34a, 34b, that extend in planes substantially perpendicular to the axis of the hinge pin 30.
The construction of the insert members 12 and 14 and the cover members 16 and 18 are shown particularly in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. The upper insert member 12 has a convex top surface 36 and in this particular embodiment a substantially circular peripheral portion 38. Of course other shapes are possible such as square, rectangular, etc. A seat 40 is provided in which a mirror M may be secured, for example, by means of suitable adhesive means. A chordally oriented lip portion 42 having a beveled section 44 is formed integrally with a portion of the periphery 38 of the upper insert member 12. As shown for example in FIG. 4, slots or recesses 46a and 46b are formed in the peripheral portion 38 of the upper insert member 12 in the area of the lip 42. It is preferred that the slots extend to the top of the member 12 to simplify molding.
Turning now to the lower insert member 14 it will be seen that the bottom surface 48 thereof is convex and the periphery 50 which matches periphery 38, is circular. A central recess 52 is provided for receiving the cosmetic. A seat 54 is formed chordally in order to receive the lip 42 as shown in FIG. 5, the seat 54 having a beveled outer edge 56 that is in opposition to and which cooperates with the bevel 44 of the upper insert member 12. Slots 58a and 58b are formed in the periphery 50 of the lower insert member adjacent the seat 54 thereof so as to receive the tabs 34a and 34b of the hinge means 20.
Both the upper and lower cover members 16 and 18 are cup shaped and are provided with base walls 60, 62 respectively, and side walls 64, 66, respectively. Notches 68 and 70 are formed in a portion of the side wall 64, 66, respectively. It should be noted that the width of the notches 68 and 70 is just slightly greater than the spacing between the slots 46a, 46b as well as 58a, 58b. Further, the depth of the notches 68 and 70 is dimensioned such that the remainder of the side walls 64, 66 conceal and completely cover the slots 46a, 46b and 58a, 58b, in the assembled condition as shown in FIG. 5.
To assemble a compact, the mirror M is secured in any suitable manner, such as by adhesive means or the like, in the seat 40 of the insert 12. The two inserts 12 and 14 are then superimposed over each other with the lip 42 engaging the seat 54 and the slots 46a, 46b being aligned with the slots 58a, 58b. The tabs 32a, 32b and 34a, 34b are inserted in their respective slots 46a, 46b and 58a, 58b as shown in FIG. 5. Then, by means of suitable adhesives or the like, the cover members 16 and 18 are secured to the insert members 12 and 14 respectively.
It will be appreciated that with the cover members 16 and 18 in place it is impossible for the hinge to be inadvertently removed since the side walls 64, 66 of the upper and lower cover members 16 and 18, respectively, cover and conceal the hinge plates 22 and 24. In this connection, it should be noted that when the two notches 68 and 70 are opposed to each other, as shown in FIG. 5, the space defined thereby is only very slightly larger than the diameter of the interdigitated fingers 26 and 28 while the width of the notches 68 and 70 is not substantially larger than the length of the hinge pin 30. Thus, substantially all of the hinge assembly is concealed and captured by the side walls 64 and 66 of the upper and lower cover members 16 and 18.
A novel feature and an important advantage of this invention is shown in FIG. 6. The edge of the notch 68 that is in the same plane as the mirror M when the compact 10 is closed abuts the side wall 66 of the lower cover member 18 when the compact 10 is open. Thus, the combination of the notch in one cover member and the side wall of the other cover member, cooperate to limit the extent of movement of the upper cover member. By this convenient expedient, made possible by the structure of the present invention, there is provided integral stop means that automatically position the mirror at the best possible viewing angle. By way of example, in the FIG. 6 embodiment, the upper cover member is limited to approximately 120° of movement between the fully closed and the fully opened positions.
While the foregoing description relates to slots or recesses formed in the peripheral walls of the upper and lower insert members cooperating with tabs extending radially inward from the hinge plates, it should be noted that the basic concept of the present invention also encompasses the use of radially outward extending pins molded integrally with the upper and lower insert members so as to cooperate with suitably sized and shaped cutouts in the hinge plates.
In FIG. 7 there is shown an alternative construction for the present invention. Reference characters 80, 82 and 84 designate, respectively, either one or both of typical upper and lower insert members, a typical hinge plate and a typical peripheral side wall for either one or both the upper and lower cover members. It will be seen that instead of the slots in the insert member and the radially extending tabs at the end of the hinge plates, there is provided a pair of radially oriented pins 86 molded integrally with the peripheral side wall of the insert members 80. The hinge plates 82 in turn have apertures 88 formed therein for receiving the pins 86. Optionally, outwardly extending dimples 90 may be provided in the peripheral walls 84 of the cover members. The dimples 90 would provide positive locating means and, in addition, would compensate for any excessive length of the pins 86. As in the previous embodiment, the two insert members 80 are juxtaposed and the hinge plates 82 are positioned thereon. The side wall 84 of each of the cover members can then be used to both conceal and capture the hinge plates 82.
From the foregoing it will be evident that an improved low cost cosmetic compact has been provided which does not require fasteners for securing the hinge plate to the upper and lower sections thereof. Means are provided for loosely coupling a hinge assembly to insert members with the cover members being used for the purpose of retaining and concealing the hinge assembly.
There has been disclosed heretofore the best embodiment of the invention presently contemplated. However, it is to be understood that various changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention.