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.