US 3752303 A
A dispensing package for a roll of seed tape consisting of a plasticized cardboard backing to which a transparent cover member is hermetically sealed to define a reel cavity. A reel for the seed tape is rotatably carried in the cavity, which includes a tangential outlet through which the tape can be dispensed. The reel consists of a flat circular cardboard member, having suitable printed indicia on one face for viewing through the transparent cover, and a plastic spool which cooperates with the cardboard member to carry the tape. Means are provided for locking the reel in a predetermined position to preclude its rotation due to hygroscopic expansion and contraction of the tape, and to thereby maintain the printed indicia in an upright position.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Aug. 14, 1973 3,403,869 10/1968 Marchisen......................... 206/78 B Primary Examiner-William T. Dixson, Jr. Attorney Ralph F. Merchant, John S. Summers et al.
 ABSTRACT A dispensing package for a roll of seed tape consisting of a plasticized cardboard backing to which a transparent cover member is hermetically sealed to define a reel cavity. A reel for the seed tape is rotatably carried in the cavity, which includes a tangential outlet through which the tape can be dispensed. The reel consists of a flat circular cardboard member, having suitable printed indicia on one face for viewing through the transparent cover, and a plastic spool which cooperates with the cardboard member to carry the tape. Means are provided for locking the reel in a predetermined position to preclude its rotation due to hygroscopic exlnventor: Russell G. Foster, Mankato, Minn.
Assignee: Northrup, King & Co., Minneapolis,
Filed: Apr. 5, 1972 Appl. N01: 241,217
U.S. 206/52 R, 47/56, 221/70, 206/78 B, 206/46 PL Int. 865:! 75/40, B65d 85/67 Field of Search 206/52 R, 78 B, 46 PL, 206/4534, 56 R; 221/70; 47/56; 242/5553 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS United States Patent 1 Foster SEED TAPE DISPENSER SEED TAPE DISPENSER The invention is related generally to dispensing packages for coiled material, and is specifically directed to a dispensing package forseed tape wound onto a reel.
A significant advance in the field of plant propagation has been the development of seed tapes. See, for example, U. S. Pat. No. 3,328,916, which issued to Haruto Okita et al. on July 4, 1967. The Okita et al. patent discloses an improved seed tape formed from material capable of maintaining a proper moisture content for the seed, and which dissolves readily by water applied at the time of planting. The seeds'are enveloped in the tape in predetermined spaced relation, which enables the user to plant seeds simply by placement of the tape in a prepared row, covering the tape with an appropriate amount of soil and applying yvater to dissolve the tape.
By reason of the nature and properties of such seed tape, it is necessary to package the tapein such a manner that it will be protected from moisture prior to its use. However, it is also important that; the package itself be inexpensively produced in view of the relatively low cost of a given quantity of tape.
We have found that a package having a rotatable dispensing reel is particularly suitable due to the ease with which the tape can be placed in soil. The reel, however, must be sufficiently strong to withstand theforce of tension as the tape is drawn from the package, while at the same time meeting the requirement of economic production. It is also preferable that the reel carry some printed indicia to identify its contents, and that the indicia be maintained in an upright position before dispensing of the seed tape begins.
My invention is directed to a dispensing package for seed tape which satisfies these requirements. The preferred embodiment of my inventive dispensing package employs a plasticized cardboard backing to which a transparent cover member is heat sealed to define a cylindrical protective cavity in which a two piece reel is rotatably disposed. One member of the reel comprises a heavy paper or cardboard disc the face of which includes printed information identifying the reel contents, a company name or the like. A plurality of centrally disposed, circularly spaced tabs are punched in the cardboard disc and project from its rear face.
The second reel member consists of a plastic disc having a projecting hub portion sized to be received by and thereby act as a support of the tabs. It will be appreciated that winding of the seed tape on the reel serves to connect the two reel members, with the hub portion of the plastic member offering support to'- the tabs and preventing collapse of the coil when the seed tape is drawn from the package.
My invention includes an additional feature which locks the reel in place within the protective cavity until the dispensing package is opened for use. Because the tape itself is water soluble, it is sensitive to even slight changes in the moisture content of its ambient surroundings. Although the reel cavity is sealed to protect the tape from moisture, it will be appreciated that climate changes may affect the cavity interior over a period of time. The result, depending on moisture content of the ambient air, is extension and contraction of the tape which, due to its coiled form, causes rotation of the reel within the package. If the reel carries printed information, such information will be canted from the normally upright package display position, thus making it difficult; for a prospective purchaser to read.
To solve this problem, the reel is locked in place within the cavity by the tape itself through provision of a tangential outlet from the cavity which frictionally engages the remote tape end prior to opening of the package, and a slot formed in the cardboard disc which receives and holds a portion of the tape spaced from the extreme end. With the tape locked at these two points, the reel is unable to rotate with the package unopened, but opening of the package followed by a slight pull on the tape quickly brings about its release at these two points.
BRIEl F DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective in view of a dispensing package embodying the inventive principle;
FIG. 2 is a front plan view of the inventive dispensing package; f
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the package taken generally along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the package taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the package taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary perspective view of the package outlet.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With initial reference to FIG. 1, an inventive dispensing package represented generally by the numeral 11 is shown to comprise a backing member 12, a cover member ll3 a reel comprising a first reel member 14 and a second reel member 15, and a length of seed tape 16 wound onto the reel.
As disclosed in U. S. Pat. No. 3,328,916, issued to Haruto Okita et al. on July 4, 1967, seed tape 16 comrpises an elongated tape 17 which envelopes a plurality of spaced seeds 18, the tape being formed from material which is readily dissolvable in water. The seed tape 16 itself forms no part of the instant invention, and reference is made to the aforementioned Okita et al patent for specific details as to its composition.
Backing member 12 is rectangular in shape, prefera; bly formed from light weight cardboard to permit information identifying package contents, company name, planting instructions and the like to be printed thereon. At least the front face of backing member I2 is coated with a thin layer of plastic to provide a seal as described in further detail below.
Transparent cover member 13 is formed from plastic and includes a flat marginal portion 21 extending around its periphery. Generally speaking, the cover member 13 also includes a circular portion 22 defining a cylindrical cavity 23 (see FIG. 4), and an elongated portion 24 extending tangentially from the circular portion 22 to define an outlet for the seed tape 16. Disposed essentially within the circular portion 22 is a cylindrical projection 25, the purpose of which will be disclosed in further detail below.
To protect the coil of seed tape 16, the marginal portion 21 of cover member 13 is heat sealed -to the plasticized backing member 12. With reference to FIG. 2, bhe broken line 26 defines the area of heat sealing. Heat is not applied to a tip area 27 on the marginal portion 21, which thereby defines a lifting tab, or to two small arcuate areas 28, which together facilitate bending back of the elongated portion 24 in opening the package 1 1.
With additional reference to FIGS. 2 and 4, the first reel member 14 comprises a circular disc formed from light weight cardboard so that desired information can be printed or otherwise placed thereon. A circular opening 31 is centrally formed in the member 14 and sized to mate with the cylindrical projection 25 of cover member 13. Thus, the printed or outer face of the reel member 14 faces outwardly within the cavity 23 to be viewed by a prospective purchaser.
Reel member 14 further includes a plurality of centrally disposed, circularly arranged tab members 32 which project rearwardly within the cavity 23 in folded position. A slot 33 is formed in the right hand edge of the reel member 14, such position being chosen with reference to printed information thereon in an essentially upright position. As will be described below, the slot 33 receives and retains the seed tape 16, and its lower corner is notched, as at 34, to simplify tape removal.
The second reel member 15 preferably is formed from plastic and comprises a disc 35 from which a hub 36 projects. As shown in FIG. 4, the outer diameter of hub 36 is sized to be received by the tab members 32 on reel member 14. The outer end of the hub 36 has a circular opening 37 of reduced size permitting it to rotatably cooperate with the cylindrical'projection 25 of cover member 13.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the first and second reel members together define a rotatable reel having flange portions or discs spaced apart by a spool portion consisting of the cooperating tab members 32 of the first reel member 14 and the hub 36 of the second reel member 15. Since the spool portion of the reel must support the coil of seed tape 16, particularly when the tape is unwound from the reel, it is necessary that the hub 36 be self-supporting. Winding of the seed tape 16 on the cooperating tab members 32 and hub 36 thus causes the first and second reel members 14 and 15 to be held together as a single rotatable reel unit.
For purposes of packaging efficiency, the length of seed tape 16 wound on the dispensing reel is preferably the same, notwithstanding the seed type. This poses a problem because the size of the seed determines the overall diameter of the tape coil, and it is necessary that the end of the seed tape terminate essentially at the outlet end of elongated portion 24 of cover member 13. The inventive dispensing package 11 provides a solution to this problem by reason of its ability to initiate the coil at any point on its circumference. Specifically, and as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the leading end of the tape, designated 38, is pinned or caught between the front face of hub 37 and a predetermined point on the rear face of reel member 14; and the remaining length of tape 16 is thereafter wound into the coil. Thus, for a tape having seeds of a given size, the initial point at which the leading tape end should be caught can be determined so that the opposite tape end will terminate in the general area of the package outlet.
FIG. 3 shows the opposite tape end to extend slightly further than the elongated outlet portion 24 of cover member 13. This enables the tape end to be folded under and locked within the end of elongated portion 24. With additional reference to FIGS. 4-6, the elontape 16 is pressed into the recess of the neck 39, it is frictionally locked into place.
After the tape 16 leaves the reel to enter the tangential outlet of elongated portion 24, it passes through the slot 33 as shown in FIG. 2. This provides a second locking point for the tape 16, the two locking points together preventing rotation of the reel by reason of hygroscopic expansion and contraction of the tape 16. Consequently, where the cardboard reel member 14 includes printed matter on its outer face, and the slot 33 is oriented as shown in FIG. 2 with the printed matter in upright position, the printed matter will always remain in an upright, readable position within the package 11.
To plant seeds from the dispensing package 11, the unsealed tab 27 is lifted away from backing member 12, carrying sealed marginal portion 21 back until the unsealed areas 28 are reached. As shown in FIG. 6, the marginal portion 21 bends at this point; and as viewed in the broken line portion of FIG. 3, the doubled tape end releases outwardly from the dove-tail recess of neck 29, thus permitting it to be grasped and drawn away from the package. As the tape 16 is pulled from the package, itsslides out of the locking slot 33 (facilitated by the notch 34), and further pulling movement causes the reel to rotate and permit the tape 16 to be unwound. It is particularly convenient to stake the released tape end to the ground within the intended seed row, and to draw the entire package 11 along the row until the tape 16 is entirely dispensed.
1. A dispensing package for a length of coiled material, comprising:
a. a backing member;
b. a transparent cover member having a marginal portion affixed to the backing member, the backing member and cover member together defining a protective cavity;
c. a reel for the coiled material having first and second flanges spaced by a spool portion for receiving the coil, the reel being rotatably disposed in the cavity and comprising 1. first and second cooperating reel members, the
first reel member defining the first flange and the second reel member defining the second flange;
2. one of the first and second reel members having centrally disposed, circularly arranged tab means projecting toward the other reel member;
3. and said other reel member having a selfsupporting hub portion constructed and arranged to cooperate with the tab means to define said spool portion;
4. the tab means overlying the hub portion and being supported thereby when the length of material is wound thereon.
2. The package defined by claim 1, wherein the backing member is formed from essentially flat cardboard.
3. The package defined by claim 1, wherein:
a. at least a portion of the backing member is plasticized;
b. the transparent cover member comprises plastic;
c. and the marginal portion of the cover member is heat sealed to the plasticized portion of the backing member.
4. The package defined by claim 1, wherein the tab means is disposed on the first reel member.
5. The package defined by claim 4, wherein the first reel member comprises a cardboard disc, and the tab means comprises a plurality of circularly spaced, foldable tab members cut from the disc.
6. The package defined by claim 4, wherein:
a. the transparent cover member further comprises a centrally disposed cylindrical projection, the diameter of said cylindrical projection being smaller than that of said self-supporting hub portion;
b. the first reel member has a circular opening centrally disposed therein for rotatable cooperation with the cylindrical projection of the cover member;
c. and a circular opening is formed in the hub portion of the second reel member, the opening being sized for cooperation with the cylindrical projection of the cover member.
7. The package defined by claim 4, wherein the second reel member is formed from plastic and comprises a circular disc portion defining the second flange, the hub portion projecting axially from the circular disc portion.
8. The package defined by claim 1, wherein the first member is formed from printable material and has a face disposed in a viewable position within the protective cavity.
9. The package defined by claim 1, wherein the transparent cover member comprises a circular portion defining the protective cavity, and further comprises an elongated portion extending tangentially from the circular portion and defining an outlet at its extreme end. i