Title:
Kettle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A kettle has a fluid-carrying body (4), an elongate handle (10) fixed to the body (4), a spout (8) protruding from the body (4) defining an opening, and a spout cap (14) pivotably mounted to close the spout, with a movable actuator (32) mounted on the handle so as to be depressible in a direction generally perpendicular to the extent of the handle into a recess (30) therein and connected to the spout cap by a linkage (40) to open the cap on depression of said actuating member (32).



Inventors:
Loring, Mitch (Vallejo, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/841201
Publication Date:
11/10/2005
Filing Date:
05/07/2004
Assignee:
Meyer Intellectual Properties Limited
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
222/473
International Classes:
A47G19/00; A47J27/21; A47J27/212; A47J41/00; (IPC1-7): A47G19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGO, LIEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wood, Herron & Evans, L.L.P. (Cincinnati, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A kettle comprising: a fluid-carrying body; an elongate handle fixed to said body; a spout protruding from said body defining an opening; a spout cap movably mounted to close and open said spout; and a movable actuating member mounted on the handle so as to be depressible in a direction generally perpendicular to the extent of the handle and operatively connected to the spout cap to open the cap on depression of said actuating member.

2. A kettle according to claim 1 wherein the spout cap is pivotably mounted and wherein the actuating member is connected to the spout cap by a flexible linkage extending through an interior of the handle.

3. A kettle according to claim 2 wherein the flexible linkage is provided by a wire.

4. A kettle according to claim 1 wherein the actuating member is disposed within a downwardly opening recess within the handle and from which a lower region of the actuating member protrudes.

5. A kettle according to claim 4 wherein the actuating member is pivotably mounted on the handle.

6. A kettle according to claim 2 wherein an upwardly-facing shoulder of the actuating member abuts said flexible linkage.

7. A kettle according to claim 4 wherein at least a portion of the handle and actuating member are overlain by a sleeve of resilient material.

8. A kettle according to claim 6 wherein the resilient material is an elastomer.

9. A kettle according to claim 1 wherein resilient means is provided between the actuating member and the handle urging the actuating member away from the handle, thereby providing a return force against the movement on depression of the actuating member.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a kettle of the non-electric type for use in boiling water on stovetops, sometimes referred to as a tea kettle.

A wide variety of such kettles exist, the majority having a main water-filling opening and a separate pouring spout. In many designs the spout of the kettle is fitted with some kind of cap, and this is commonly provided with some means for producing an audible whistle when the water is boiling, such as appropriately-shaped openings, which produce a whistle as steam from the kettle interior passes through.

When it is desired to pour boiled water from the kettle the cap must be removed from the spout. In some designs the cap makes a simple plug-fit in the spout and must be manually pulled out. In others, the cap is mounted on the spout by a simple pivot which opens as the kettle is inclined. Designs are also well-known where the cap is adapted to be opened by the user, for example by the user's thumb, having some kind of lever extending towards the handle.

In U.S. Pat. No. 6,006,959 of General Housewares Corp the handle is engageably coupled to the cap in a manner such rotation of the handle in an upward direction causes movement of the cap to an open position, whilst movement in a downward direction closes the cap. Such an arrangement means that the spout cap inevitably opens as the kettle is picked up.

The present invention seeks to provide a structure whereby the cap can be opened or closed through an action within the handle but which is of greater versatility.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention there is provided a kettle comprising: a fluid-carrying body; an elongate handle fixed to said body; a spout protruding from said body defining an opening; a spout cap movably mounted to close and open said spout; and a movable actuating member mounted on the handle so as to be depressible in a direction generally perpendicular to the extent of the handle and operatively connected to the spout cap to open the cap on depression of said actuating member.

This structure affords a simple construction allowing a user to readily open and close the spout cap.

More particularly, the spout cap may be pivotably mounted and the actuating member connected to the spout cap by a flexible linkage extending through an interior of the handle, the flexible linkage being a wire linkage or linkage of other durable material.

The actuating member may be disposed within a downwardly opening recess within the handle and from which a lower region of the actuating member protrudes, being pivotably mounted on the handle. An upwardly facing shoulder on the actuator may abut the flexible linkage, providing the upward force on the linkage for opening of the spout cap.

The region of the handle containing the actuating member may be overlain by a sleeve of resilient material, such as an elastomer, serving to provide the handle with a soft grip, as well as constraining the actuating member. Resilient means such as a spring means be provided between the actuating member and the handle urging the actuating member away from the handle, thereby providing a return force.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An embodiment of the invention is now described, by way of example only, with reference to the following drawings in which:

FIG. 1(a) is sectional view of a kettle according to a preferred embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 1(b) is a detail showing the spout cap in an open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The kettle according to an embodiment of the invention is shown in section in FIG. 1(a). The kettle, generally designated 2, comprises a main water-carrying body 4 with a planar base 6, and an upwardly doomed sidewall 5. A hollow tubular spout 8 protrudes from an upper region of main body 4. A handle 10 is joined to the main body 4 adjacent the spout 8. The main body 4 is also formed with a water-filling opening which is closed by a lid 12.

The spout 8 is provided with a spout cap 14 which comprises a main generally circular region 16 which closes the spout opening and a supporting arm 18 by which the cap 14 is pivotably mounted on the handle 10. More specifically, the arm 18 extends into a recess 20 in the handle, with a pivot pin 22 extending laterally across the recess between opposed sides of the handle portion defining the recess 20. The arm 18 terminates in an upturned finger 23 adjacent the pivot 22.

The end region 16 of the spout cap 14 is also fitted with a sprung plate 24 mounted on the spout cap 14 through a central pin 26 to allow a small degree of movement, and with a spring 28 urging the plate 24 away from the cap 14. This affords a tight engagement between the plate 24 and the end of the spout 8 when the cap 14 closes the spout 8.

The handle 10 is provided with an actuating mechanism whereby the user can open and close the spout cap 14. More particularly, the underside of the handle is formed with a recess 30 in which there is disposed a spring mounted actuator 32 in the form of an elongate member pivotably mounted at 34. The actuator has an upper shoulder 35. A pillar 36 extends towards an upper handle surface 37 with a spring 38 disposed between the pillar 36 urging the actuator 32 away from an interior surface 37 within the recess 30. At least the central region of the handle 10 adjacent the actuator 52 is overlain by a sleeve 39 of an elastomeric material, which functions as a soft flexible grip and also holds the actuating member in place providing an upward force on the actuating member 32. An actuating linkage 40 extends through the interior of the handle secured at one end at the pivot 34 extending to the finger 23 at the spout cap 14, passing over the shoulder 35. This may be a metal wire, or a flexible plastics linkage or a chord or other durable linkage.

The solid lines of FIG. 1(a) shows the spout cap 14 in the closed position. From this position the user can grasp the handle and squeeze or depress the actuator 32 upwardly against the action of the spring 38. The shoulder 35 of the actuator 32 engages the cable 40 pulling this upwards, and thereby pivoting the cap 14 to an open position. As the actuator 32 is released it pivots back down to the FIG. 1(a) position under the action of the spring 38, but is constrained from further movement by the sleeve 39.

This mechanism provides an effective yet simple arrangement whereby a user can open and close the spout cap 14 with a simple squeezing action. It is however still perfectly possible to pick up the kettle by the handle without squeezing the actuator 32 and without opening the spout cap 14.