Title:
Whistle cap for drink container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A whistle for a water or drink bottle may be either combination whistle and drink bottle closure or a whistle with an annular body portion that fits over the neck of the bottle without interefering with the existing cap or closure. The whistle includes a stem that projects from an upper part of the cap portion. One or more internal windways extend around the neck of the bottle, and lead from the stem to one or more fipple holes to generate sound from air flow exiting the windway. Each fipple hole has its own respective chamber that determines pitch of the sound. A gap in one side of an annular body allows the whistle to snap fit onto the bottle neck.



Inventors:
Howell, David (Katonah, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/034528
Publication Date:
08/18/2005
Filing Date:
01/12/2005
Assignee:
HOWELL DAVID
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/81, 446/77
International Classes:
A47G19/22; B65D51/24; (IPC1-7): A47G19/22
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
WALKER, NED ANDREW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BERNHARD P. MOLLDREM, JR. (SYRACUSE, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A combination whistle and drink bottle closure, comprising a cap portion fitting a mouth of a drink bottle, and an incorporated whistle, the whistle including a stem that projects from an upper part of the cap portion, first and second internal windways within the cap portion each leading from the stem to a respective fipple to generate sound from air flow exiting the windway, and each having a respective chamber that determines pitch of the sound.

2. The combination of claim 1, wherein a drink nipple is provided axially at the center of the cap portion, and said windways bend around respective sides of the drink nipple, so that the whistle and the drink nipple do not interfere with each other's operation.

3. The combination of claim 1, wherein said stem projects upward from the cap portion at a fixed angle.

4. The combination of claim 1, in which the first and second fipples have openings that are directed in a distal direction to direct the sound in the distal direction.

5. A whistle adapted to be mounted over a closure of a drink bottle without interfering with the user's drinking from the bottle, in which the cap fits onto a mouth of a drink bottle that is positioned atop a neck portion above a body portion of the bottle; and wherein the whistle comprises a hollow annular portion having an open center dimensioned to fit onto the neck of said bottle; a stem that projects proximally from a proximal side of said annular portion; at least one internal windway within the annular portion and leading from the stem; at least one fipple located at a distal side of said annular portion to generate sound from air flow exiting the windway; and a chamber portion situated at said fipple for determining pitch of the sound.

6. The whistle according to claim 5, in which there are a plurality of fipples situated at the distal side of said annular portion, for generating multiple tones.

7. The whistle according to claim 5, in which said chamber portion includes a hollow finger portion that angles distally and downward from said annular portion.

8. The whistle according to claim 7, in which said hollow finger portion extends distally outward from the annular portion to a distance less than the radius of the body of said bottle.

9. The whistle according to claim 5, wherein said stem, said annular portion, and said chamber portion are unitarily formed of a semi-rigid plastic material.

10. The whistle according to claim 5, wherein said annular portion has a gap formed therein at one side to permit installing the whistle onto a neck of a beverage container from the side and including spring means for snap fitting the whistle onto said neck.

11. A whistle adapted to be mounted over a closure of a drink bottle without interfering with the user's drinking from the bottle, in which the snap cap fits onto a neck of a drink bottle above a body portion of the bottle; and wherein the whistle comprises a hollow generally annular portion having an open center dimensioned to fit onto the neck of said bottle and a gap at one side; a stem that projects proximally from a proximal side of said annular portion; at least one internal windway within the annular portion and leading from the stem; at least one fipple member located at a distal side of said annular portion to generate sound from air flow exiting the windway; and a chamber portion situated at said fipple for determining pitch of the sound.

12. The whistle according to claim 11, in which there are a plurality of fipple members situated at the distal side of said annular portion, for generating multiple tones.

13. The whistle according to claim 11, wherein said gap is slightly smaller than the diameter of said neck.

Description:

Applicant claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of provisional patent application No. 60/535,777, filed Jan. 12, 2004, and which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention is directed to combined sounders and drink containers, and is in particular directed to a combination in which a whistle is built into the closure or cap of the container, the stem of the mouthpiece is separate from the drink nipple and does not project in height above a standard cap height nor in width beyond the bottle side walls. The whistle can be used without having to manipulate the bottle cap first in some way, or remove the cap. A split whistle produces dual or triple tones, for a better alarm sounding in emergencies. Ideally, the whistle should be unobtrusive, and should not interfere with carrying the bottle or drinking from it, and should be an attractive feature in respect to the design and appearance of the bottle and cap.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object to provide a whistle that either serves as a bottle cap for a water bottle or similar container, or else fits over or around the cap onto the neck of the container.

It is another object to provide the person using the bottle with a means for signaling in case of danger or attack, or to alert to an emergency or unsafe situation.

When the person brings a water bottle with the whistle cap on a hike, bike, ride, jog, or even to work, a whistle will always be there for emergencies.

In combination, the device comprises a bottle cap and a whistle that is formed in the cap around the drinking nipple or stem, and does not interfere with its function. In one preferred embodiment, a two-chamber whistle is formed in the closure or cap, with a stem or mouthpiece that is available for blowing in emergencies. More than two chambers are possible. The stem does not need to be manipulated or swung open for use. Preferably, there is a split windway to conduct the air around the central axis of the cap into two or more different whistle chambers. Alternatively, the device may comprise a whistle device that fits around the cap or past the cap onto the neck of the container, and which permits the person to drink without removing the whistle (either allowing the cap to be removed or giving access to the drink nipple on the cap).

According to one possible aspect of the invention, a whistle is combined into a cap for a beverage container or bottle. The cap and whistle can integrated as one unit. When a person takes the water bottle or beverage bottle hiking, jogging, or cycling, the whistle is there for use in emergencies or in signaling. The whistle can be blown without removing it from the bottle or opening the bottle. Where the bottle cap is a sports cap, with a retractable nipple, the whistle does not interfere with the nipple, and there is a space at the center of the cap for the retractable nipple. The difference in height from a standard cap is kept to a minimum, and the cap does not extend in width beyond the side walls of the bottle. The whistle favorably has plural pitches or tones, with the air flow being split and going to two or more whistles formed in the cap. The stem of the whistle, i.e., mouthpiece, is angled up from the top of the bottle cap, to facilitate access and ease of blowing.

According to another aspect, the whistle may be formed as a separate, detachable whistle element, and can be formed with a hollow annular body that fits over or around the cap or closure of a drink container. The annular body snap fits onto the neck of a standard container. The stem extends at an upward slant, but does not extend above the top of the drink nipple of the cap. Similarly, a resonant chamber formed in a finger member on the other, distal side of the annular body can extend downward along the tapered part of the bottle below the bottle neck, and does not extend beyond the radius of the body of the bottle. The annular portion need not form a complete closed ring, but may be of horseshoe or omega shape, and may snap onto the bottle neck from the side.

The above and many other objects, features, and advantages of this invention can be understood from the ensuing description of illustrative preferred embodiments, when considered in connection with the attached figures of Drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 shows a whistle cap of this invention in elevation, in combination with an associated drink bottle.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the cap.

FIG. 3 is a cut away view, taken at 3-3 of FIG. 1, showing the air pathway for the whistle.

FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 are lateral, proximal, and distal views of the whistle according to another preferred embodiment, here shown in place upon a standard drinking water container.

FIG. 7 is a top plan view thereof.

FIGS. 8 and 9 are a side elevation and top plan of a variant of this embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The arrangement according to one possible preferred embodiment is illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3, showing its features and advantages.

In this embodiment, the cap of the bottle and the whistle are one unit, although in manufacture these may be made in two pieces that are joined during manufacture. The exact manufacture techniques can vary depending upon the plastic used and because of differences in forming internal voids and passageways.

The whistle can be blown without removing it from the bottle or opening the bottle. The whistle cap in no way impairs the function of the bottle. In the case of bottles with sports caps, i.e., those caps that have a central, retractable nipple-like protuberance, the whistle cap is designed to leave a space in the center of the cap for the retractable nipple.

There may be many different types of bottles, to all of which the integrated whistle cap may be applied, with the various whistle caps all working on the same principle.

The difference in height between a normal, conventional cap and a whistle cap is kept to a minimum. This is accomplished here by employing two or more whistle pipes with different tones mounted side by side. Here the two whistle pipes bend around the central drinking tube, i.e., nipple. These two whistle pipes are not parallel, but are angled with the pipes coming together at the side away from the stem so as to promote the forward propagation of the sound.

The width of the whistle cap is such that it does not extend beyond the sidewalls of the associated bottle. This is an important concern for bicyclists where the bicycle bottle has to fit into a rack on the bike frame. It is also important for camping bottles, which need to avoid becoming entangled if placed into a backpack or fanny pack.

The stem of the whistle is angled up from the bottle cap, which facilitates both access and ease of blowing.

It greater sound volume is desired, the pipes may be stacked one above the other.

As illustrated, in a preferred embodiment, there is a cap or closure 10 provided for a drink container or bottle 12. The closure 10 here screws onto a threaded mouth of the bottle 12. In this case, the closure 10 has a central retractable nipple 14 permitting the user to drink without removing the cap. The cap has a dual whistle incorporated into it, with a stem 16 that the user blows into. The stem 16 is at a fixed angle upwards, for a more natural blowing position. In some embodiments, the stem 16 can be pivoted so it can be raised or lowered. There is a split structure inside the cap, as shown in FIG. 3, and there are separate openings or fipples 18 on left and right sides and opposite the stem 16. The air flow is in the direction into the stem 16, and then splitting to proceed through left and right windways 20, 20 that curve around a core where the drinking stem 14 is located. The windways exit at the fipple holes 18, where the air strikes a lip 22, after which the sound resonates in the respective chambers 24, 24. Favorably, there may be more than two parts to the whistle, to generate three or more tones.

In other embodiments, the drinking nipple may be omitted, and in that case the cap or closure would be removed for drinking. In other designs, the top of the drinking nipple may be twisted or rotated to open or close it.

A number of synthetic plastic resins are available which can be easily molded to form the drinking cap—whistle combination, and which will facilitate production of an acceptable whistle sound.

Another whistle arrangement embodying this invention is shown in FIGS. 4, 5, 6, and 7. In this case the whistle 30 is formed of an annular body 32, i.e., a hollow ring, with a stem 34 situated on a distal side, i.e., facing towards the user, and a resonant chamber portion 36 situated on a distal side of the annular body 32, i.e., away from the user. The air passes out through one or more fipple holes 37 located on the far or distal side of the whistle 30. In this embodiment, the stem 34 extends upward and outward at a slant angle, i.e., proximally, to create a natural angle for the user. In this case, the body 32, stem 34 and chamber portion 36 are molded together as a unit of a semi-rigid, but yieldable plastic resin. An annular air passage 38 is provided within the annular body 32. The annular portion has a central open circular vertical passage 39 formed in it and which is dimensioned to fit over a cap 40 of an associated drink bottle 42, so as to snap-fit in place onto the neck 44 of the bottle. The stem 34 extends outward to a distance that is within the radial outward dimension of the body 46 of the bottle, and extends upward a distance not beyond the height of the cap 40, i.e., not vertically above the drink nipple 48 on the cap. Here, only the upper portion of the bottle 42 is shown. The bottle 42 may be a standard blow-molded plastic drink bottle, i.e., PET or equivalent. Preferably, when the user has consumed the water from the bottle and wants to discard the plastic bottle, the whistle 30 can be slipped off, and can be easily pushed onto another water bottle of the same dimension.

It is also envisioned that the whistle of this type may be easily installed by the bottler at the time of filling and packaging, without requiring elaborate or unusual equipment, and that the bottle, fitted with the whistle 30, will be within the dimensions of any typical packaging system for cartons or cases of the bottled water.

In this example, the bottle 42 has a slanted or tapered shoulder 50 below the neck 44. Here, the chamber portion 36 is in the form of a finger or lobe that extends outward, i.e., distally, to a distance that is within the dimension of body 46 of the bottle, and angles downward so as to sit upon the tapered shoulder 50. As illustrated in FIG. 4, a resonant chamber 52 is formed within the finger or lobe, i.e., chamber portion 36. There may be individual chambers 52 for each of the fipple holes, so that there will be multiple tones generated.

The whistle 30 of this embodiment is formed and dimensioned to fit onto the neck 44 of the drinking bottle. However, in other embodiments, the whistle may seat directly onto the cap or closure. There may be only one fipple hole, a pair of fipple holes, three (as shown), or more than three.

Also, the annular portion 32 need not be a closed ring shape, as in this embodiment, but may be horseshoe shaped or omega shaped, for example, without departing from the invention.

A variation of the whistle which fits onto the bottle from the side, is illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9. There the elements of the whistle that are also illustrated in FIGS. 4 to 7 are identified with the same reference numbers, but raised by 100.

The whistle 130 of this embodiment is designed to be pushed onto the neck of the bottle 42 and fits above the shoulder 50 and a neck flange 144. Here, the whistle 130 has a body 132 that is generally annular, but with a gap 133 at one side. The gap 133 is slightly narrower than the diameter of the bottle neck, so as to produce a secure, snug fit. The plastic material of the neck will deflect slightly to allow the whistle body 132 to fit over it. That is, the bottle 42 will deform slightly when the whistle is installed, that is, when it is pushed from the side onto the bottle in the direction shown in the arrows in FIG. 9.

As in the previous embodiment, the whistle has a stem or mouthpiece 134, which angles upward from a proximal side, and a finger portion 136 disposed at the distal side. There is a windway formed within the body portion, and air blown in through the stem 134 passes through the windway in the body portion 132 and exits through the fipple holes 137 at the distal side. These fipple holes are connected with resonant chamber or chambers 152 formed within the finger portion 136, which are dimensioned to produce the tones of the desired pitches.

The user can easily pull the whistle 130 off one bottle when empty and quickly install it onto another bottle. Also, the bottler or packager of the bottled water or other beverage can easily install these on the product as an added feature for the purchaser. A molded leaf spring can be formed into the inside curved side of the body 132 to facilitate the snap fitting onto the bottle neck. The molded leaf spring allows the whistle to be used with different widths of bottle necks, and also helps to hold the whistle firmly in place. A metal leaf spring could be used, if desired.

While the invention has been described in reference to specific preferred embodiments, the invention is not limited to those precise embodiments. Many modifications and variations would present themselves to persons skilled in the relevant arts without departure from the scope and spirit of this invention.