Patent No. 3258288A: Can Carrier

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Today in 1966, US Patent 3258288 A was issued, an invention of Lawrence L. Courter, for his “Can Carrier.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to devices for carrying containers and more particularly .relates to devices for grasping a plurality of the ordinary beaded-top type of can by their tops and thus enabling them to be transported in a group.

The uses of the invention may be particularly considered with respect to beer cans, although of course cans containing other commodities may equally well be picked up and carried by my carrier. A feature of present day merchandising of beer is that not only are cans used in place of bottles, but the cans are frequently sold in units of six cans, called picnic-packs or party-packs. These units are customarily put up in paperboard containers of egg-crate construction, having a bottom and four side walls and compartment dividers, and having two opposed walls continued upward and bent inwardly to form handles. Unfortunately such unit carriers do not stack particularly well, and being made of cardboard they can not sustain exposure to dampness such as might result from refrigeration by ice or ice-water. Furthermore their bulk when empty is the same as when full, and when discarded on beaches and picnic grounds they make an unnecessary and unsightly clutter.

It is an object of my invention to provide a carrier of flat configuration which will permit the so-called picnic packs .to be stacked one on top of another.

Another object of my invention is to provide a carrier which, when stacked, is substantially flat on its upper surface except only for centering rings for positioning cans in a superimposed layer.

A further object of my invention is to provide a carrier having hooks for lifting cans and flanges cooperating with the hooks to maintain the hooks in contact with the beaded rims of the cans.

Still another object of my invent-ion is to provide a carrier of limited flexibility, capable of being snapped on with a single pressure motion to a suitably grouped number of cans, and capable of releasing one can at a time as it may be called for.

Another object of my invention is to provide a carrier which covers the minimum area of cans carried thereby and none at all below the upper ends of the cans, so that the cans are practically fully exposed for rapid refrigeration, or advertising.

A further object of my invention is to provide a plastic carrier which may be used with cold water to refrigerate cans, and which yet contains so little material that it is economically practical.

Still another object of my invention is to provide a flexible carrier having a handle so constructed and so secured to the body of the carrier that it will normally lie in the plane of the body and yet may be lifted to a carrying position, due to flexibility of the material.

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Patent No. 2643016A: Carton Taping Apparatus And Method

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Today in 1953, US Patent 2643016 A was issued, an invention of Charles W. Steckling, assigned to the Schlitz Brewing Co., for their “Carton Taping Apparatus and Method.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to an improved apparatus and method for sealing with adhesive ‘tape cartons and containers made of corrugated paper board and the like having longitudinally extending closing flaps which meet across the top of the carton.

A primary object of the invention is to apply-a strip of adhesive tape to cartons moving in line in uniformly spaced relationship.

Another object of the invention is to cut the tape between cartons and press down the ends as the cartons continuously move forward in such fashion as to maintain the tape under tension until an adhesive bond is established.

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Patent No. 3586514A: Thin-Walled Plastic Container For Beer

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Today in 1971, US Patent 3586514 A was issued, an invention of Taco Vijlbrief, assigned to Heineken Tech Beheer NV, for his “Thin-Walled Plastic Container For Beer.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, it has been found that a thin-walled container specially suitable for beer and other oxygen-sensitive materials is obtained by having a hard polymer or copolymer of vinyl chloride containing such a quantity of anti-oxidizing agent that the oxygen permeability of this hard polymer or copolymer, measured as the number of cm. of oxygen of standard temperature and pressure which has passed through 1 cm. of the plastic through a thickness of 1 mm, per second, per cm. of oxygen overpressure at 20 C. (mercury), amounts to about 10- cm. (STP)mm./cm. sec., cm. Hg or lower.

By thin-walled throughout the specification and claims is understood that the thickness of the wall does not exceed 2.5 millimeters. Thicker walls present working difficulties and moreover, the problem of undesired oxygen permeation through the wall is felt only if the wall is thin.

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A modern PET Heineken bottle.

Patent Nos. 3094213A & 3094214A: Fill-Height Inspection Device For Fluid In Bottles/Automatic Container Fill-Height Inspection Machine

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Today in 1895, US Patent 3094213 A and US Patent 3094214 A was issued, both inventions of James H. Wyman, with the second also by Robert G. Husome, for their “Fill-Height Inspection Device For Fluid In Bottles” and “Automatic Container Fill-Height Inspection Machine.” There’s no Abstract for either, though they’re described this way in the application:

This invention relates to inspection apparatus of the type used to deter-mine whether a transparent container, such as a bottle, has been filled to the proper height with a liquid, and, more particularly, to improvements therein.

The requirement that the volume of beverage in a bottle correspond to the volume specified on the label on the bottle is a legal one. Good customer relations also provide more incentive to a bottler of liquids which require him to make sure that the contents of the bottle are as specified. On the other hand, should more than the specified amount of liquid be poured into the bottles, the bottler suffers an economic loss. Thus, a number of different systems have been proposed which inspect translucent containers, such as bottles, to determine whether the fill-height of the bottle is proper. These systems usually apply radiation on one side of the bottle and a detector on the other side of the bottle in the region of the bottle wherein desired fill-height occurs. However, due to various factors, such as the differences in bottle thickness, bottle color, variations in beverage color, as well as the presence of foam in many beverages, none of the heretofore-produced systems have proven consistently satisfactory.

An object of this invention is to provide a fill-height inspection system which is not adversely aifected by variations in bottle thickness or color.

Another object of this invention is the provision of a fill-height inspection system which is not adversely affected by differences in beverage color or the presence of foam.

Yet another object of the present invention is the provision of a novel and unique fill-height inspection system.

These and other objects of the invention are achieved by taking advantage of the fact that light is refracted or bent at ‘a unique angle by the liquid and its container. Thus, if a photocell is positioned on one side of a container so that no illumination from a light source can reach that photocell, unless it is refracted by the liquid in the container, a positive arrangement for detecting the fill-height of the liquid in the container may be obtained. The photocell is positioned adjacent the container at a level just below the minimum acceptable level. Similarly, to determine whether a container has been overfilled, a photocell may be positioned adjacent the container just above the maximum desired fill-height level, to be illuminated only by light which is refracted by the liquid in the bottle.

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This invention relates to automatic fill-height inspection machines and, more particularly, to an improved arrangement for determining that a translucent container has been filled to the proper level.

Presently known automatic fill-height machines for photoelectrically inspecting a translucent container are not completely reliable, as a result of difficulties experienced with different colored bottles or bottles of varying opacity, thickness, or even in view of the fact that some liquids which are carbonated, such as beer, will have a foam at the top of the liquid which can provide a false signal as to the actual level to which the container is filled. Another difficulty which arises is that the prior systems are substantially limited to use with only one size of a container. If a production run of a different container size or even different fill-height requirements is desired, a considerable realignment of the fill height inspection apparatus parameters is required. A further limitation of prior systems is that they may be applicable only to translucent liquids.

An object of this invention is the provision of a reliable fill-height inspection apparatus.

Another object of this invention is the provision of a novel and useful fill-height inspection apparatus.

Yet another object of this invention is the provision of a fill height inspection apparatus which is easily adjustable for inspecting containers of different sizes.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide fill height inspection capability for opaque liquids, translucent liquids with foam on top, or solid (e.g., granular or powdered) materials in translucent containers.

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Patent No. 3812996A: Bottle Carrying Case

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Today in 1974, US Patent 3812996 A was issued, an invention of Arthur Bunnell, assigned to Carling O’Keefe Ltd., for his “Bottle Carrying Case.” Here’s the Abstract:

Plastic carrying cases for bottles, especially beer bottles, are provided of a structure, in which, when the cases are stacked with bottles therein the tops of the bottles in one case engage the underside of the next upper case so that the load of the stack is supported through the bottles.

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Budweiser Tries To Rebrand Itself As “America”

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The original Anheuser-Busch considered itself a quintessentially American company, and it many ways it was. Run by the same family for generations from their mansions in St. Louis, Missouri, in the heartland of America, it was easy for the German-American Busch family to position Budweiser as the ultimate American beer. And they rarely shied away from making such associations. From early on, the Budweiser label was red, white and blue and they used that to their advantage on numerous occasions. During my lifetime, countless times their advertising played on that patriotism, using patriotic iconography in their POS and marketing.

But I imagine this latest campaign may be going a little too far for many people. They filed, and received, label approval on April 11, 2016 from the TTB with application OMB No. 1513-0020 for a new label. That new label will try to rebrand the new Anheuser-Busch InBev, no longer an American company with international roots in Brazil and Belgium, as “America.” No, seriously, they’re actually going to call Budweiser “America,” at least for the summer. According to AdAge:

A-B InBev on Tuesday, May 10, confirmed the limited-edition label change, saying “America” would replace “Budweiser” on the front of 12-oz. cans and bottles. The packaging will run from May 23 through election season in November, the brewer stated. The agency that handled the design change is Jones Knowles Ritchie, New York. The packaging will be accompanied by a summer-long campaign called “America is in Your Hands.” A national TV spot featuring the cans and bottles will premiere on June 1.

And it’s not just that title, the new label is riddled with patriotic associations. It’s an amazing piece of propaganda, and not in any way subtle.

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This is the image that accompanied the TTB label application.

Will this work? Can the international conglomerate poised to swallow up SABMiller — who’s already the world’s largest beer company — be able to convince Americans that they’re still your blue collar friend? That they’re still America’s beer? It feels like a tough sell, but if I’ve learned anything in my five decades consuming advertising it’s that people are incredibly gullible. Many people don’t care who owns Budweiser. Many people don’t care, or perhaps even know, that Budweiser is owned by a ginormous international conglomerate. They’ve been Bud drinkers as long as they can remember, and they have too many other things they care more about than thinking about what beer they’re drinking. I think because we live in such a beer bubble that we sometimes forget that most people don’t care about the industry as deeply as we do.

It seems like ABI has become far more aggressive lately in how they’re trying to position their brand. Part of that seems like desperation at their shrinking market, but being the world’s 25th most valuable brand, worth an estimated $22.3 billion alone (never mind the rest of the company), still makes them the 800-pound gorilla. And that sort of size would make anyone aggressive, with no one else remotely close to their size. I’m certainly curious to see this play out. Will there be a backlash? My guess is no. They’ll be some fiery condemnations on the interwebs, perhaps a few stories on television, and then it will die down. Bud drinkers will just continue drinking their beer of choice. And I’m willing to bet at least a few won’t even notice the change. It will certainly appeal to a certain jingoist bent that many Americans are prone to, the people who believe America is always number one in everything, and anybody who says differently is a commie; the same people who used to say “America, love it or leave it.”

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ABI released a statement today entitled “Budweiser Emblazons America On Cans And Bottles To Kick Off Its Most Patriotic Summer Ever” with the details on their new ad campaign.

America’s No. 1 full-flavored lager is taking its longstanding tradition of patriotic packaging even further this summer by replacing “Budweiser” with “America” on the front of its 12-oz. cans and bottles. The brand is also modifying Budweiser’s iconic label to add copy that is central to American history, including phrases from the Pledge of Allegiance and lyrics from “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.” On shelves nationwide from May 23 through the election in November, these cans and bottles aim to inspire drinkers to celebrate America and Budweiser’s shared values of freedom and authenticity.

Designed in partnership with Jones Knowles Ritchie New York, Budweiser’s bold new look serves as the focal point for its summer-long campaign—“America is in Your Hands”—which reminds people from sea to shining sea to embrace the optimism upon which the country was first built. The “America” cans and bottles will star in the brand’s new national TV spot, premiering June 1.

“We are embarking on what should be the most patriotic summer that this generation has ever seen, with Copa America Centenario being held on U.S. soil for the first time, Team USA competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Ricardo Marques, vice president, Budweiser. “Budweiser has always strived to embody America in a bottle, and we’re honored to salute this great nation where our beer has been passionately brewed for the past 140 years.”

The “America is in Your Hands” campaign will come to life this summer during culturally relevant moments where Budweiser will be present, including Fourth of July celebrations, the Copa America Centenario soccer tournament, the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and events to celebrate the brand’s six Team Budweiser athletes competing to appear in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The campaign will include billboards, murals, digital content, and retail activations along with additional surprises to be revealed throughout the summer.

Budweiser is also unveiling new cans and bottles featuring a magnified view of the Statue of Liberty’s torch, inspired by Team Budweiser, the brand’s six Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. On shelves from May 23 through mid-September, the “Torch” packaging will be available in 16-oz. and 25-oz. cans, along with 16-oz. aluminum bottles.

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Is this the new face of American beer? I suspect not, but only time will tell how many Americans will fall for it.

Patent No. 2707827A: Combined Can Holder And Opener

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Today in 1955, US Patent 2707827 A was issued, an invention of Fred W. Petram, for his “Combined Can Holder and Opener.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to can openers and more particularly to a combined can opener and holder.

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a device which may be efficiently and easily used in opening and holding a can of beer or a can of juice or similar material, the construction consisting entirely of one piece.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a combined can holder and opener of the above type which is adapted to snap on to the upper lip of the can at the end of the device remote from the can opening portion, the latter being resiliently retained against the lower lip of the can with the device intermediate its ends curving outwardly to provide a grasping portion.

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Patent No. 7367670B2: Eyewear Bottle Opener

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Today in 2008, US Patent 7367670 B2 was issued, an invention of Travis E. Duane, for his “Eyewear Bottle Opener.” Here’s the Abstract:

An eyewear bottle opener wherein a bottle opener is housed within the reinforced earpiece of the frame of the eyewear for the convenience of a person wearing the eyewear and desiring to open a bottle having a metal cap.

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Patent No. 2039345A: Screw-Top Bottle Mouth

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Today in 1936, US Patent 2039345 A was issued, an invention of Edward A. Ravenscroft, for his “Screw-Top Bottle Mouth.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to bottle mouths capable of being closed by drawn or molded caps of practical depths ‘and diameters. It resides in a formation of mouth which provides for a pouring lip without materially reducing the area of the throat or increasing the diameter of the required cap, and without necessitating a lowering of fastening means on the neck to such a point that drawn or molded caps .of impractical depths are required for closing.

In forming closures for bottles substantial economies may be erected through the use of cap closures instead of corks. The cap closure is ideal for bottles intended to contain dry or semi-dry substances, but for closing bottles intended to contain liquids, which are to be dispensed therefrom, cap closures known prior to this invention are open to very serious objections. The common screw cap closure is entirely devoid of any pouring lip and the stream emitted from such a bottle mouth breaks during pouring, spreads down the side of the bottle and is so erratic in behavior that it cannot be directed with any degree of certainty. The fluid which flows down the side of the bottle spreads in copious quantities into the threads or other fastening means on the neck and in many cases causes sticking of the cap. In the case of corrosive or poisonous fluids, the fluid on the outside of the bottle constitutes a real hazard; and in any case is decidedly disagreeable.

Attempts have been made to remedy the above difficulties but none of them has been acceptable. One of these attempts proposes the forming of a pouring lip at the top of the bottle, the threads for securing the cap being displaced a relatively long distance down the neck. This necessitates an exceptionally deep cap, which is so expensive to draw that any economy over the use of ordinary corks is impossible. Further, a substantial constriction of the throat of the bottle is involved in this construction which interferes with rapid pouring. In other constructions proposed a notch at the neck of the bottle is employed, the same producing a malformed lip of small effectiveness in producing a good stream and a clean cut-off. In this form the fastening means are placed entirely below the notch and here also a cap of excessive depth is required. In this form a very substantial constriction in the throat also is involved prior to this invention no means of eliminating the same has been proposed.

According to this invention, however, a good pouring lip is provided without constricting the throat to a substantial degree, the same being that the pouring stream is kept thin and in the accomplished without requiring a lowering of the fastening means on the outside of the neck. With the mouth of this invention a cap of ordinary depth may be employed, the same being substantially no deeper nor more expensive than 5 caps used with ordinary closures. There is also provided in this invention a crest concentric with the exterior of the neck so that a gasket in the cap will repeatedly seat to form a good seal.

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Patent No. 2237879A: Display Stand For Beer Bottles

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Today in 1941, US Patent 2237879 A was issued, an invention of William Hinkel, assigned to the Schlitz Brewing Co., for his “Display Stand” for beer bottles. There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to `advertising displays and refers particularly to a display stand for use in displaying bottled goods like beer and other beverages.

In advertising displays of this type, empty bottles must be used; but empty bottles lack the appeal of full bottles. It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide a display stand so constructed that it imparts the illusion of a full bottle when the display is viewed in the normal manner.

Another object of this invention is to provide a display stand so constructed as to support a plurality of bottles in a novel pyramid fashion.

Another object of this invention resides in the provision of means for securing the bottles in place on the stand so that they cannot be removed or shifted from their proper positions with respect to that portion of the stand which serves to create the illusion of fullness for the bottles.

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