Patent No. 433015A: Vent Bung And Bushing

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Today in 1890, US Patent 433015 A was issued, an invention of John Meyer, for his “Vent Bung and Bushing.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to bungs and vents, and is particularly intended for kegs and casks for beer, ale, and similar liquors, but is of course applicable to all vessels for storing liquids. Its object is to provide a vent-bung, which will at all times prevent the escape of gases from the vessel and preclude the admission of air, except when it is necessary to induce a flow of the liquid from the faucet of the vessel, which Vent will require no attention after the keg is filled and vent-bung inserted until it again be necessary to fill the vessel.

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Patent No. 2124565A: Liquid Container

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Today in 1938, US Patent 2124565 A was issued, an invention of Frank D. Goll and James K. Wareham, assigned to the Aluminum Co. Of America, for their “Liquid Container,” essentially a keg. There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to metal vessels for storing and shipping liquids. It relates especially to the construction of metal barrels and similar vessels for the storage and transportation of liquids, such as beer and the like.

The primary object of the invention is to provide an improved metal barrel. Another object is to provide a strong but light metal barrel which may be used either with or without an insulating cover of rubber or other material. A further object of this invention is to provide improved fittings for metal barrels of the type specified.

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Patent No. 7757908B1: Portable Container And Dispenser For Kegged Beer

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Today in 2010, US Patent 7757908 B1 was issued, an invention of Thomas R. Buhl, Jr., for his “Portable Container and Dispenser For Kegged Beer.” Here’s the Abstract:

A combination beer container and dispenser includes an outer container having a top section provided with an opening centrally formed therein. The top section includes a removable lid selectively positional in the opening. The outer container further has front and rear sections and includes a plurality of flange portions extending inwardly and orthogonally from the front and rear sections. An inner container having a cylindrical shape defines a cavity therein. A mechanism for dispensing beer from the keg and a mechanism for securing the keg within the inner container are also included. An axle having opposed end portions is positioned in a bore. A drain cock is directly conjoined to the rear and is manually adaptable between open and closed positions. A plurality of wheels are conjoined to the end portions of the axle. Such wheels include coextensive and juxtaposed ridges for providing traction.

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Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.’s Beer Patents

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So I’m not sure what to make of these. For nearly two years, I’ve been searching through Google’s patent search and blogging beer-related patents as I find them. And there are a lot of them: some historic, some by people I know (or knew), some surprising and some truly weird ones. Today, I found two separate patents, from two different years — 1948 and 1965 — but both issued on the same day — July 20 — and both of them assigned to the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. even though each one of them is beer-related — kegs, really — and as far as I know, they had nothing to do with beer during those time periods. So let’s go through each of them.

Patent No. 2445730A: Reinforced Sectional Barrel

Today in 1948, US Patent 2445730 A was issued, an invention of Max O. Kuhn, assigned to the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., for his “Reinforced Sectional Barrel.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This application relates to containers, and more especially to single walled metallic containers.

An object of the invention is to provide an improved container comprising corrosive and noncorrosive metal, said corrosive metal being protected not only from liquid contents within the barrel, but also from direct contact with the atmosphere.

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Patent No. 3195760A: Single Walled Double Compartment Container

Today in 1965, US Patent 3195760 A was issued, an invention of William Bulgrin Walter, assigned to the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., for his ” Single Walled Double Compartment Container.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The present invention relates to containers and in particular to single walled metal beer containers with double compartments.

When beer is initially placed in containers for subsequent dispensing it contains a certain amount of natural carbon dioxide gas which serves to maintain the condition of the beer and keep the flavor lively so long as the container remains sealed. When the container is tapped and as the beer is withdrawn the evacuated space must be filled with a pressure balancing medium of some kind.

If the evacuated space is permitted to be filled with impure air any microorganisms carried in this air will tend to contaminate and impair the flavor of the beer and shorten considerably the useful life of the beer. Also unless the replacement medium enters the container quickly, enough of the natural carbon dioxide gas will be thrown off by the beer itself to fill this evacuated space thus causing a loss of condition of the beer and resulting in a flat taste.

In order to dispense the beer from the container it is necessary to use certain auxiliary equipment, such as pumps, valves and possibly long or involved piping, which equipment often may be a common source of contamination.

To avoid permitting impure air from entering and filling the evacuated space as the beer is Withdrawn, it is often considered preferable to use a separate source of carbon dioxide which involves a certain amount of additional equipment such as the gas cylinders themselves in order to dispense the beer under pressure. The use of carbon dioxide gas would be preferable to pump systems requiring facilities for sterilizing the air which is permitted to enter the evacuated space. A further reason for the use of carbon dioxide is that it serves to prevent the natural carbon dioxide in the beer itself from being thrown off inside the container, thereby ensuring that the flavor is kept lively for a longer period of time.

Accordingly, one of the objects of the invention is to provide a single walled metal container having a separate compartment for the storage of carbon dioxide gas.

Another object of the invention is to provide a single walled metal container having double compartments, one for the storage of a suitable gas and the other for the storage of a beverage, the container being readily adaptable for establishing communication between the two compartments when tapped through a conventional and simple equipment.

It is still another object of the invention to provide a method of fabricating single walled double compartment metal containers of various dual volume capacities from a single standard size container type.

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I know that Japan’s Bridgestone Tires bought Firestone Tires in 1988, but I’m unclear as to when the Firestone family was no longer in control, or had sold the business. This is at least 32 years before Adam Firestone and David Walker started the Firestone Walker Brewing Co., and even for the more recent patent, Adam would have been just a kid. So why would Firestone Tires be patenting kegs, or improvements to kegs? Rubber seals, perhaps? Or just some weird quirk of business, who knows?

Patent No. 3195779A: Beverage Dispenser

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Today in 1965, US Patent 3195779 A was issued, an invention of William J. Ruff, for his “Beverage Dispenser.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a beverage dispenser which is particularly useful for dispensing beer and other carbonated beverages.

One object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved device for dispensing carbonated beverages from cans or similar containers of relatively small capacity, such as one gallon, for example.

Another object is to provide a new and improved beverage dispenser in which the beverage is supplied in cans having openings which are sealed initially with closure plugs made of rubber or rubberlike material.

A further object is to provide a beverage dispenser in which the beverage to be dispensed is withdrawn from the cans by means of tapping pipes which are adapted to penetrate the rubber plugs mounted in the openings in the cans.

A further object is to provide a beverage dispenser in which each can is provided with two openings closed with rubber plugs, one plug being adapted to receive a tapping pipe for withdrawing the beverage while the other plug is adapted to receive a tapping pipe through which carbon dioxide (CO) under pressure is introduced into the can to provide pressure for dispensing the beverage.

Another object is to provide new and improved beverage cans having rubber closure plugs, each of which is formed with an imperforate diaphragm, together with means forming a recess for receiving the remnant of the diaphragm after the diaphragm has been punctured by a tapping pipe. It is a further object to provide a new and improved rubber or rubberlike closure plug of the foregoing character which is constructed and arranged to prevent any leakage between the tapping pipe and the plug, and also to prevent the tapping pipe from being pushed outwardly through the plug by the force produced by the CO pressure in the can.

A further object is to provide such a new and improved rubber plug which is formed with a lower sleeve portion having a bore therein which is initially of a substantially smaller diameter than the tapping pipe, so that the sleeve portion will be stretched substantially by the insertion of the tapping pipe, the sleeve portion being adapted to grip the tapping pipe tightly, due to the stretching of the sleeve and also due to the pressure of the CO on the sleeve.

Another object is to provide a new and improved beverage dispenser adapted to dispense carbonated beverages from sealed can of small size so that the dispensed beverage will always be fresh and will be prevented from going hat or stale.

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Patent No. 2124308A: Device For Instantaneously Cooling Beer And Dispensing Same

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Today in 1938, US Patent 2124308 A was issued, an invention of Stephen Mezzapesa, for his “Device For Instantaneously Cooling Beer and Dispensing Same.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

It is a defect of present systems and methods off dispensing, that when the faucet is first opened there is often a squirt of gas and foam-spattering the beer and wasting it; The excess foam filling the glass’ held under the faucet must be removed and displaced by beer; causing a Waste of the been forming the-foam, Also the gas lost this way tends to leave the remaining beer flat. Some of the present systems have relief valves for the gas, to obviate the above noted defect. This also tends to leave the dispensed beer flat.

invention-consists in a device for forcing the beer from the storage receptacle or barrel into a thin sheet by passing it between closely spaced walls and then causing the beer after it has-passed between the walls to pass through an exceedingly fine orifice from whence it passes through’a length of the standard size beer tubing’ to its place of discharge at the “faucet. Experiment has shown that this causes the undissolved’ gas or air in the system to be evenly distributed throughout the discharged liquid in small bubbles. It breaks up the large bubbles into small ones, and reduces the foam to liquid. It permits the use of greatly increased pressure with the-resultant solution of more gas-in the beer, giving; rise tok a more zestful and tangy beer; The” closeness of the walls is such that the-force-of–capillarity is brought into play to help reduce the foam. There is also a straining action obtained by the closeness of the walls, 40 and smallness of the orifice largely preventing the foam which leaves the storage receptacle or” barrel with the beer from passing through the space between; the walls to the place of discharge; At the place Where the beer is formed into a thin sheet” it is preferably passed through a refrigerating medium; the thinness of the sheet effecting a rapid and thorough cooling of the beer.- The cooling at” this location further helps the reduction of foam and the elimination of large bubbles by the increased solubility of the gas in the colder beer.

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Patent No. 523274A: Apparatus For Collecting Dripping From Beer Faucets And Returning Same To Kegs Under Gas Pressure

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Today in 1894, US Patent 523274 A was issued, an invention of Harry Genovar, for his “Apparatus for Collecting Dripping from Beer Faucets and Returning Same to Kegs Under Gas Pressure.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The object of my invention is to provide means whereby the drippings and waste from beer faucets and other sources may be easily and quickly returned to the keg, without loss of gas from the latter and Without impairing the quality of the beer.

In retailing beer by the glass, it is usually drawn directly from the keg through pipes which traverse a refrigerating chamber, carbonic acid gas being supplied to the keg at a substantially uniform pressure. The presence of large quantities of foam, as the beer comes from the faucet, and the necessity of running off the larger part of the foam, entails a considerable waste, as the beer into which this foam is resolved soon parts. with its gas and becomes stale.

It is the purpose of my invention to provide means whereby this waste may be entirely avoided without involving more than an extremely moderate expense for apparatus which may be easily operated by any person with a small expenditure of time and labor.

The invention consists in the several novel features of construction and new combinations of parts hereinafter fully explained and then particularly pointed out and defined in the claims which follow this specification.

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Patent No. 301860A: Valve For Regulating The Supply Of Liquor

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Today in 1884, US Patent 301860 A was issued, an invention of Peter James Catterall and Edward Birch, for their “Valve for Regulating the Supply of Liquor.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

Our improvement relates to the invention for which we obtained Letters Patent of the United States No.’ 253,683, dated February 14, 1882, and is partly or wholly applicable for other purposes and the object of our invention is to form an improved valve for regulating the supply of beer, water or other liquid. We attain this object by the mechanism illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which Figure 1 is an elevation showing the valve applied to apparatus for raising beer or other liquid. Fig. 2 is a sectional elevation upon a larger scale of the valve. Figs. 3 and 4 are sectional elevations of a modified form of the valve. Fig. 5 is a sectional elevation of the back-pressure valves. Fig. 6 is an elevation, partly in section, of the ball-valve in the water-supply pipe, and of the treadle for actuating the same. Fig. 7 is a plan of Fig. 6. Fig. 8 is a sectional elevation of an air-vessel for the prevention of concussion in the water-supply pipe; and’Fig. 9 is a detached view in section, showing our arrangement for connecting the chamber to the water-chest.

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Patent No. 2086832A: Dispensing And Storage Cabinet For Effervescent Beverages

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Today in 1937, US Patent 2086832 A was issued, an invention of Charles Candee Green, for his “Dispensing and Storage Cabinet for Effervescent Beverages.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

I claim:

1. The combination in a beverage dispensing cabinet having an open front, a center-post at the front of the cabinet, and anelevated horizontal support rigid with the post and cabinet,

with a pair of oppositely opening hinged doors, of a tray extending substantially the combined width of the two doors and hinged to the cabinet above the doors, a prop pivoted on the cabinet adapted to rest on the support for holding the tray in open position, a stop-rib mounted on the under face of the tray, and rabbets on the upper edges of said doors for frictional engagement with the stop-rib when the tray and doors are closed.

2. The combination with an open-front cabinet having a center-post, and a pair of oppositely-opening hinged-doors, of a tray extending substantially the combined Width of the two doors and hinged to the cabinet above the doors, a stop-rib mounted on the under face of the tray to form a front edge-groove, and rabbets forming a complementary groove at the upper edges of the doors, whereby frictional engagement of the rabbets against the stop-rib holds the tray against opening movement when the tray and ‘doors are in closed position.

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Patent No. 2514773A: Fluid Pressure Dispenser With Gas Pressure Supplying Reservoir Within The Supply Container

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Today in 1950, US Patent 2514773 A was issued, an invention of Wallace R. Kromer, assigned to the Superflow Mfg. Corp., for his “Fluid Pressure Dispenser with Gas Pressure Supplying Reservoir Within the Supply Container.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to a dispensing device for beer or carbonated beverages and has for its object to provide a dispensing container that is provided with cooling and pressure generating means that are so designed that they occupy but Small space within the container and reduce but little the liquid capacity of the container.

A further object is to provide a dispensing container of simple. compact construction having convenient cooling, pressure generating and dispensing devices attached to its top wall and adapted to be disposed wholly Within and below the top edge of the chime at the top of, the container so that containers embodying the invention may, be stored and shipped without damage to the attachments; v

An additional object of the invention is to provide a simple” and convenient means for utilizing solid carbon dioxide generally known ‘as DryIce, to cool the beverage and to create and maintain a pressure within the receptacle that will prevent escape of carbon dioxide from the beverage and that U will force the beverage through the tap when the faucet valve is opened.

“A further object of the invention is to provide a faucet that can be moved from an inoperative position overlying the top of the. container, to an operative position projecting laterally from the container and that is detachably fastened in its inoperative position so that it may be used as a handle for carrying the container.

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