Title:
TOOTHBRUSH CONTAINER
United States Patent 3746162


Abstract:
A plastic container for storing and carrying a toothbrush has a body portion with an aperture in one end thereof through which the toothbrush handle extends so that the brush portion is retained within the body portion. A hinged lid integrally formed with the body portion closes the open top or end of the body portion by latching so as to retain the brush within the container. Drain and drying holes are formed in either the body portion or the lid or both.



Inventors:
BRIDGES R
Application Number:
05/179324
Publication Date:
07/17/1973
Filing Date:
09/10/1971
Assignee:
BRIDGES R,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/184, 220/324, 220/835, D06/534
International Classes:
A46B17/04; (IPC1-7): A45D44/18; B65D43/16
Field of Search:
206/15
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3127985Protective case for toothbrushes1964-04-07Scott
3063549Protective containers for holding microscope slides and similar fragile devices1962-11-13Weichselbaum
2655968Toothbrush cover1953-10-20Simmons
1651496Container for toothbrushes1927-12-06Weinberg
1115061N/A1914-10-27Foster



Foreign References:
GB207032A1923-11-22
FR1110599A1956-02-14
Primary Examiner:
Dixon Jr., William T.
Claims:
The invention claimed is

1. A container for a toothbrush having a brush portion and a handle portion comprising:

2. A container according to claim 1, and in which the fastener means includes a cooperating latch and lip, one of which disposed on the lid and the other of which is disposed on the body, said latch and lip being engageable when the lid is in its first position to hold the lid on the body in conjunction with the hinge means.

3. A container according to claim 2, and including unlatching means having a first integrally formed lug on the lid adjacent one side of the fastener means and a second integrally formed lug on the body adjacent the otherside of the fastener means, said lugs being adapted when relative torsional pressure is applied thereto in a first direction to unlatch said fastening means and when relative torsional pressure is applied thereto in a direction opposite said first direction to assist in latching said fastening means.

4. A container according to claim 3, and in which the drain and drying aperture means comprise longitudinally aligned series of apertures in the bottom of the body.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION.

1. Field of the Invention

This invention pertains to a container having a hinged lid for storing and carrying a toothbrush.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Various devices have been utilized heretofore to store and carry toothbrushes. Such devices have conventionally enclosed the entire toothbrush, including the handle, so as to be unnecessarily bulky. Furthermore, such devices have not generally provided for drainage and evaporation of water which may be retained in the brush portion of the toothbrush. Even after extended storage, a brush so stored is often damp, inducing mildew in the container. In addition, such devices have generally failed to have a positive locking means to hold the container together, so that often the container has come apart, when packed in luggage during travelling, so that the brush itself has become soiled or surrounding items wetted. Such devices have generally been made of rigid plastic materials, and have been comparatively expensive and subject to breakage.

SUMMARY

According to the present invention, a container for a toothbrush has a generally hollow plastic body portion of with either an open top or end. Drain and drying apertures are formed in either the body or lid or both so as to permit moisture in the brush to drain and evaporate therethrough. An aperture is formed in one end of the body and has a configuration such that the toothbrush handle extends therethrough while the brush itself is retained, by the remainder of said end, within the body portion. A lid is connected by a hinge to the body portion so as to close the open top or end. Fastener means are provided to hold the lid over the top of the body when a toothbrush is disposed in the container. Either the cross-sectional configuration of the body portion or the configuration of the end aperture prevents substantial rotation of the toothbrush with respect to the container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

Referring now to the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a view illustrating a toothbrush container according to the present invention with a toothbrush disposed therein for storage or travelling;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the toothbrush container of FIG. 1 with its lid portion opened so as to show the interior of its body portion;

FIG. 3 is a view, in section, taken along lines 3--3 of FIG. 1 but with the toothbrush removed for purposes of illustration;

FIG. 4 is a view, in section, taken along lines 4--4 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a view illustrating an alternate embodiment of toothbrush container according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a view, in section, of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a view of the toothbrush container of FIG. 5 showing the opened lid; and

FIG. 8 is a view illustrating another alternate embodiment of toothbrush container according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to FIG. 1, a toothbrush container 10 according to the present invention has a body portion 12 and a lid 14. A toothbrush handle 16 extends from an end 18 of the body portion 12 through an aperture 20 formed therein. The lid 14 has a latch 22 formed at one side thereof. Adjacent the latch 22 is a lug 24, formed on the body portion 12. On a side 26 of the body portion 12, adjacent the latch 22, a second lug 28 is formed.

As seen in FIG. 2, the body portion 12 has a side 30 opposite the side 26 and a second end 32 opposite the end 18. Integrally formed to the side 32 is a tab 34 having an aperture 36 therein. The aperture 36 is adapted to engage with a hook or the like in order to hold the toothbrush container in a vertical position for storage if desired. The second side 30 has a hinge 38 connected thereto and to the lid 14.

The body portion 12 has a bottom 40, in which apertures 42 are formed to facilitate draining and evaporation of any moisture which may be contained therein. The side 26 has a lip 44 which is adapted to engage the latch 22, as is seen more clearly in FIG. 3. The lid 14 has stiffeners 46, 48, 50 formed thereon in order to provide additional rigidity for the lid. Preferrably, the lid 14, hinge 38 and body portion 12 are integrally formed as a single unit by being molded simultaneously, as by injection molding. The container 10 is formed of a semi-rigid plastic material, such as polypropolene or polyethylene, and the aperture 20, as well as a series of apertures 42, located in the bottom 40, are formed in the molding process.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the latch 22 and lip 44, which comprise a fastener means for latching the lid 14 to the body portion 12, are shown in section. Also shown in section is the hinge 38. As will be apparent from FIG. 3, the hinge 38 is a single piece of flexible plastic so as to permit the lid 14 to be moved from a first position, in which the lid is latched to the body portion as is shown in FIG. 3, to a second position in which the lid is remote from the body portion so as to open the top thereof, as is shown in FIG. 2. In FIG. 3, the toothbrush itself has been deleted for purposes of illustration. However, the brush is shown in FIG. 4, which is a side elevation, in section, of the toothbrush container 10. As is seen in FIG. 4, the toothbrush has a brush portion 52 which is held within the container 10 by means of the end 18 having the aperture 20 formed therein, through which the handle 16 extends. As will be apparent from the relative size of the brush portion 52 and the container 10, the brush portion is held upright within the container. The apertures 42 formed in the bottom 40 communicate with a solid handle extension 52A of the brush portion 52, rather than opening directly on to brush bristles 52B themselves. Thus, the bristles are further protected from soilage or contamination by dirt and the like, since the handle extention portion provides a baffle effect.

As will be apparent from the various figures, the container 10 is of a generally rectangular parallelopiped configuration having an open top, which is selectively closed and opened by the lid 14. Closure of the lid 14 is maintained by the fastener means. The lugs 24, 28, disposed one to each side of the fastener means, and attached one on the lid and the other to the body portion, provide a structure for assisting the opening and closing of the lid. Thus, if torsional pressure is applied to the lugs 24, 28, as, for example, by pressing one's thumb on one and one's forefinger on the other, in a clockwise direction, the lid will be forced from the body portion by overcoming the latching effect of the fastener means. Conversely, in fastening the lid to the body portion, the lugs 24, 28 provide assistance if torsional pressure in the opposite direction is applied thereto by the thumb and forefinger.

Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown an alternate embodiment of toothbrush container. In FIG. 5, a toothbrush container 60 is of generally rectangular cross sectional configuration, having a side 62, a top 64, a closed end 66, and a lid 68 enclosing an open end of the container 60. Te closed end 66 has an aperture 70 formed therein, through which the handle 16 of the toothbrush extends. The lid 68 has a tab 72, which is utilized to open the container.

FIG. 6 is a view, in section, of the container 60 of FIG. 5. In addition to the ends, side and top, described with respect to FIG. 5, the container has a bottom 74 and a side 76 shown in FIG. 6. The top 64 has a latching recess 78 which engages a lip 80 extending inwardly from the lid 68. The lid 68 has a pair of drain apertures 82, 84 formed therein, so that moisture may drain and evaporate from the container 60. The lid 68 is attached to the bottom 74 by a hinge 84, which is similar in construction to the hinge 38 shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of the container 60 in its opened position, illustrating that the lid 68 moves outwardly and downwardly from the top 64 upon opening, in order to permit the toothbrush to be removed through the open end of the container 60 formerly closed by the lid 68. The operation by which the container 60 is opened from the position shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 to the position shown in FIG. 7 will be apparent from the drawings, the tab 72 performing the same function in this embodiment as did the lugs 24, 28 in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 4. If desired, a pair of tabs may be utilized in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 through 7, in the same manner as the pair of lugs 24, 28 in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 4.

FIG. 8 is a view illustrating another alternate embodiment of toothbrush container according to the invention. In FIG. 8, a toothbrush container 90 is generally cylindrical, having a closed end 92 within which an aperture 94 is formed so as to permit the egress of a toothbrush handle (not shown). Opposite the closed end 92 is a lid 96 which closes an otherwise open end of the container 90. The lid is held in its closed position by means of a lip and latch structure (not shown) similar to those heretofore shown. The lid 96 has a tab 98 which facilitates opening and closing of the container in the same manner as has been heretofore described with respect to the tab 72. In the embodiment of FIG. 8, a pair of lugs may be substituted for the tab 98 if desired. The container 90 has a generally cylindrical body portion 100 within which a series of apertures 102 are formed. If desired, a plurality of lines of apertures may be formed in the cylindrical body portion 100. The lid 96 is attached to the body portion 100 by a hinge (not shown) of the same general structure as that shown with respect to the embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 7.

In a toothbrush container, it is desirable for the toothbrush to be restrained with respect to rotational motion within the container. In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 7, this restriction is obtained principally by the rectangular cross sectional configuration of the container. However, FIG. 8 has a circular cross sectional configuration, so that rotation of the toothbrush within the container is prevented by the shape of the aperture 94 in the closed end 92. Tus, the aperture is shaped generally to closely enclose the toothbrush handle, so as to prevent rotation. Similarly, the apertures 20, 70, in the embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 4, and 5 through 7, respectively, may be selected as to size in order to provide for such close enclosure, thereby further restricting the rotational freedom of the toothbrush within containers of rectangular cross sectional configuration.