Title:
Container for holding sticks of chalk of different diameters
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A packaging system and method for packaging together two sets of chalk having differing diameters. A first container is provided that has side walls and an open top. The first container is sized to receive a first plurality of chalk of a thick diameter. A second container is provided that is sized to receive a second plurality of chalk that has a thin diameter. A pocket structure is formed in a side wall of the first container. The pocket structure is sized to selectively receive and retain the second container. As such, both sets of chalk are individually housed, yet are joined together in a common packaging configuration.



Inventors:
Ng, Andy (Tsim Sha Tsui, HK)
Application Number:
10/828599
Publication Date:
10/27/2005
Filing Date:
04/22/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/499
International Classes:
B65D21/02; B65D25/32; B65D69/00; (IPC1-7): B65D69/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
JOHNSON, JERROLD D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAMORTE & ASSOCIATES P.C. (P.O. BOX 434, YARDLEY, PA, 19067, US)
Claims:
1. An assembly, comprising: a first plurality of chalk of a first diameter; a second plurality of chalk of a second diameter, that is less than said first diameter; a first container having side walls and an open top, wherein said first container is sized to receive said first plurality of chalk therein; a second container sized to receive said second plurality of chalk therein; a pocket structure extending from one of said side walls of said first container, wherein said pocket structure is sized to selectively receive and retain said second container therein.

2. The assembly according to claim 1, further including a lid for selectively covering said open top of said first container.

3. The assembly according to claim 2, wherein said lid is transparent so that said first plurality of chalk can be viewed in said first container through said lid.

4. The assembly according to claim 2, wherein said lid extends over at least part of said pocket structure and prevents said second container from being removed from said pocket structure.

5. The assembly according to claim 1, wherein said second container is transparent, in at least part, so that said second plurality of chalk is visible from within said second container.

6. The assembly according to claim 1, wherein said second container has a peripheral edge, and said pocket structure includes a rail that engages said second container in an area immediately proximate said peripheral edge.

7. The assembly according to claim 1, wherein said pocket structure includes a rail element that extends outwardly from one of said side walls of said first container, wherein said rail element has a lip that lay parallel to the side wall, wherein said second container fits between said side wall and said lip.

8. The assembly according to claim 1, wherein said second container has a transparent lid, wherein most of said transparent lid is directly visible when said second container is in said pocket structure.

9. The assembly according to claim 1, further including a handle coupled to said first container for lifting said first container.

10. A method of packaging two sets of chalk of different diameters, said method including the steps of: providing a first container sized to receive a first set of said two sets of chalk, wherein said first container has a side wall and a pocket structure that extends outwardly from said side wall; providing a second container sized to receive a second set of said two sets of chalk; placing said first set of chalk in said first container; placing said second set of chalk in said second container; and placing said second container in said pocket structure of said first container.

11. The method according to claim 10, wherein said first container has a transparent section that enables said first set of said two sets of chalk to be viewed when in said first container.

12. The method according to claim 10, wherein said second container has a transparent section that enables said second set of said two sets of chalk to be viewed when in said second container.

13. The method according to claim 12, wherein said transparent section of said second container is visible when said second container is positioned within said pocket structure of said first container.

14. The method according to claim 10, further including the step of placing a lid over said first container, wherein said lid overlaps said pocket structure and prevents said second container from being removed from said first container.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to containers for holding marking implements, such as crayons, pencils and sticks of chalk, that are in collections of different colors. More particularly, the present invention relates to containers for holding such implements where the different colors of the marking implements can be viewed while the marking implements are still within the container.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Collections of different colored marking implements are often sold together. For instance, different colored crayons are often sold in a single box. Often, the colors of the marking implements are illustrated on the exterior of the box so that a person can see what colors are embodied by the marking implements within the box. This packaging style is typical for crayons. In other instances, the marking implements are packed in clear plastic pouches. This packaging style is typical for magic markers.

The packaging for chalk, however, must do more than just present an aesthetically pleasing package for a store shelf. Chalk is very fragile. Additionally, chalk is adversely effected by moisture and humidity. As a result, packaging for chalk must physically protect the chalk from breaking as well as protect the chalk from the surrounding ambient environment.

Traditionally, sticks of chalk are sold in two primary sizes. There is sidewalk chalk and blackboard chalk. Sidewalk chalk is thick, often having a diameter of at least one inch. Sidewalk chalk is designed to make large chalk markings on sidewalks, pavements and walls. Due to the large diameter of sidewalk chalk, it is more difficult to break and thus is ideal for use by smaller children.

Blackboard chalk, however, is thin and typically has a diameter of less than a half of an inch. Blackboard chalk breaks very easily if not handled properly. Blackboard chalk is therefore used with care to make neat delicate chalk lines, such as those used when writing words on a chalkboard.

Since sidewalk chalk and blackboard chalk are often used for different reasons, they are not typically sold together. Rather, sidewalk chalk is commonly sold in large plastic containers and blackboard chalk is commonly sold in small paperboard boxes. The large plastic containers, used for sidewalk chalk, enable the sidewalk chalk to be randomly thrown back into the container when not in use. Due to the thickness and durability of the sidewalk chalk, the haphazard storage does not usually damage the sidewalk chalk. However, the blackboard chalk must be stored much more delicately in the small box of its packaging to ensure that the blackboard chalk remains unbroken when not in use. If blackboard chalk is thrown into a container with the larger sidewalk chalk, the blackboard chalk is easily broken by the contact with the larger and heavier sidewalk chalk.

Many people, both children and adults alike, who draw images in chalk, like to have the option of using both the larger sidewalk chalk and the smaller blackboard chalk when drawing. There is, therefore, a demand for a variety of colors of sidewalk chalk and a variety of colors of blackboard chalk to be packaged and sold together, so that they can be carried together and used together. The present invention provides a unique solution for packaging a variety of sidewalk chalk and blackboard chalk together so that both types of chalk can be carried and used together. Yet, the present invention packaging ensures the smaller blackboard chalk is protected from breakage. This invention is described and claimed below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a packaging system and method for packaging together two sets of chalk having differing diameters. A first container is provided that has side walls and an open top. The first container is sized to receive a first plurality of chalk of a thick diameter. A second container is provided that is sized to receive a second plurality of chalk that has a thin diameter. A pocket structure is formed in a side wall of the first container. The pocket structure is sized to selectively receive and retain the second container. As such, both sets of chalk are individually housed, yet are joined together in a common packaging configuration.

The first container has a removable lid that covers the first container. When the lid is placed onto the first container, the lid extends over the pocket structure and prevents the second container from being removed from the pocket structure. Thus, the lid of the first container selectively controls access to both the first container and the second container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the following description of an exemplary embodiment thereof, considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring both to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, an exemplary embodiment for a packaging 10 of two sets of chalk is shown. The packaging 10 of chalk has a large primary container 12. The primary container 12 has an open top 14. A lid 16 is provided that can be selectively set upon the open top 14 of the primary container 12. The lid 16 seals the open top 14 of the primary container 12, preferably providing an airtight seal. In this manner, the area within the primary container 12 can be isolated from the surrounding ambient environment.

The length, width and height of the primary container 12 are dimensioned to hold a selection of different colored sidewalk chalk 20. The height of the primary container 12 is slightly larger than the height of the individual pieces of sidewalk chalk 20. The length and width of the primary container 12 are just slightly larger than a whole number of pieces of sidewalk chalk 20. In this manner, the sidewalk chalk 20 can be vertically placed within the primary container 12, with a minimum of space within the primary container 12 being unutilized.

The lid 16 for the primary container 12 is preferably made of a transparent plastic. In this manner, the various colors of the sidewalk chalk 20 placed within the primary container 12 can be viewed through the structure of the lid 16, when the lid 16 is set to seal the open top 14 of the primary container 12.

The primary container 12 and the lid 16 combine to create a sealed chamber for the sidewalk chalk 20. This protects the sidewalk chalk 20 from physical damage, but also isolates the sidewalk chalk 20 from water and humidity. In this manner, the sidewalk chalk 20 can remain in good condition over a long period of time.

The primary container 12 has four side walls. However, such a shape is merely exemplary and it will be understood that the primary container can have any number of walls or a continuous curved wall. In at least one position along the side wall 22 is disposed a pocket structure 24. The pocket structure 24 is defined by a rail element 26 that forms three sides of a rectangle or square. The top of the pocket structure 24 is open, in that the rail element 26 does not run across this area.

The rail element 26 has a front lip 28 that lay parallel to the side wall 22 of the primary container 12. Thus, the pocket structure 24 has a slot configuration of a width W1, in between the front lip 28 of the rail element 26 and the side wall 22 of the primary container 12.

A secondary container 30 is provided. The secondary container 30 has a lid 32 that can be either opened or selectively removed to access the interior of the secondary container 30. The secondary container 30 holds a selection of differently colored blackboard chalk 34 in a single parallel row. Thus, the secondary container 30 has a width that is slightly wider than a stick of blackboard chalk 34. The height of the secondary container 30 is slightly larger than the height of a stick of blackboard chalk 34, and the length of the secondary container 30 is slightly larger than the combined diameters of a whole number of blackboard chalk pieces 34.

The secondary container 30 preferably has a transparent lid 32. In this manner, the number of pieces of blackboard chalk 34 and the color of the pieces of blackboard chalk 34 can be directly observed through the lid 32 of the secondary container 30. The width W2 of the secondary container 30 is only slightly smaller than the width of the pocket structure 24 between the lip 28 of the rail element 26 and the side wall 22 of the primary container 12. Similarly, the length and the height of the secondary container 30 also closely match the length and the width of the pocket structure 24. As such, the secondary container 30 can be selectively placed into the pocket structure 24 or removed from the pocket structure 24, through the open top edge of the pocket structure 24.

When the secondary container 30 is paced in the pocket structure 24, the lip 28 of the rail element 26 engages the secondary container 30 immediately proximate the peripheral edges of the secondary container 30. Thus, the majority of the lid 32 of the secondary container 30 can still be viewed when the secondary container 30 is placed within the pocket structure 24. This allows a person to view the number and color of the pieces of blackboard chalk 34 directly through the lid 32 of the secondary container 30.

When the lid 16 is placed on the primary container 12, the lid 16 that covers the primary container. However, the lid 16 also extends over the open top of the pocket structure 24 and prevents the second container 30 from being removed from the pocket structure 24. Thus, the lid 16 of the primary container 12 selectively controls access to both the primary container 12 and the secondary container 30.

As is shown in FIG. 2, the present invention packaging 10 enables a selection of sidewalk chalk 20 and a selection of blackboard chalk 34 to be packaged and sold together. However, the sidewalk chalk 20 and the blackboard chalk 34 are kept apart from each other. When packaged, both the number and the colors of the sidewalk chalk 20 and the blackboard chalk 34 can be readily observed through the packaging. Thus, the contents of the packaging are immediately discernable without having to open the packaging.

A handle 40 is provided to enable the full packaging to be readily carried. When produced for retail sale, both the lid 16 of the primary container 12 and the lid 32 of the secondary container 30 can be enclosed in a removable shrink-wrap plastic to prevent either from being opened by anyone other than the purchaser of the product.

Once purchased, the lid 16 of the primary container 12 can be opened and the sidewalk chalk 20 removed. The used sidewalk chalk 20 can be returned to the primary container 12 and the lid 16 reset to store the used sidewalk chalk 20. To remove the blackboard chalk 34, the secondary container 30 is first removed from the pocket structure 24. The secondary container 30 is then opened and the blackboard chalk 34 removed and used. The used blackboard chalk 34 can be returned to the secondary container 30 and the secondary container 30 returned to the pocket structure 24 for storage. The secondary container 30 holds the blackboard chalk 34 in a single protected row. In this manner, the blackboard chalk 34 is protected from breakage when not being used.

It will be understood that the embodiment of the present invention that is disclosed and illustrated is merely exemplary and that a person skilled in the art can make many modifications to that embodiment. For example, the shape of the primary storage container, the capacity of the primary storage container and the capacity of the secondary container can all be altered to the whims of a manufacturer. Furthermore, the secondary container can have many designs and can be manufactured either as a separate box or as an integral part of the primary storage container. All such modifications and alternate embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the present invention as set forth in the claims.