- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is a continuation in part of U.S. Ser. No. 10/222,231, filed on Aug. 15, 2002, which claimed the priority benefit of Provisional Patent No. 60/325,438.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to portable shaving kits, and more particularly, to a compact kit which encloses a quantity of shaving cream or soap, a shaving brush, one or more safety razors, and accessories, in a crush-proof, clamshell case.
2. Description of the Related Art
Numerous attempts have been made to develop shaving kits in the prior art. Most of these appeared to focus on a type of combination shaving foam dispenser and safety razor combination, or disposable or cylindrical design, or a kit so small as to fit into a pocket or extremely small compartment. A search of the prior art did not disclose any patents that read directly on the claims of the instant invention; but the following references were considered related.
The following patents disclose the design and function of a shaving or razor kit:
- U.S. Pat. No. 5,025,928 issued in the name of Orosy, et al.;
- U.S. Pat. No. 5,018,543 issued in the name of Martinez, et al.;
- U.S. Pat. No. 4,144,967 issued in the name of Craven, et al.;
- U.S. Pat. No. 3,315,796 issued in the name of Dreyfuss;
- U.S. Pat. No. 3,206,012 issued in the name of Braginetz;
- U.S. Pat. No. 3,141,486 issued in the name of Bosca, et al.;
- U.S. Pat. No. 2,984,380 issued in the name of Kuhnl, et al.;
- U.S. Pat. No. 2,958,329 issued in the name of Almgren;
- U.S. Pat. No. 2,948,388 issued in the name of Metzler, et al.;
- U.S. Pat. No. 2,822,916 issued in the name of Wark, et al.;
- U.S. Pat. No. 2,735,542 issued in the name of Schnitzler;
- U.S. Pat. No. 2,167,926 issued in the name of Glasker;
- U.S. Pat. No. 2,038,319 issued in the name of Stanley;
- U.S. Pat. No. 1,932,603 issued in the name of Richardson;
- U.S. Pat. No. 1,887,123 issued in the name of Flintermann;
- U.S. Pat. No. 1,867,347 issued in the name of Blair;
- U.S. Pat. No. 1,552,918 issued in the name of Gaisman;
- U.S. Pat. No. 1,164,979 issued in the name of Benko; and
- U.S. Pat. No. 965,787 issued in the name of Woods.
With reference to the current state of art, particular reference is made to U.S. Pat. No. 5,018,543, issued on May 28, 1991 and U.S. Pat. No. 1,887,123, issued on Jun. 15, 1931. U.S. Pat. No. 5,018,543 claimed that its portable shaving kit provided utility to military and other users by its compactness, disposability, and provision of the ability to shave anywhere or at anytime. This particular shaving kit would be important to particular users who may value those attributes. However, most business and military users would only encounter situations when they would actually need such a kit extremely infrequently. In particular, people who must shave when absent from their home often desire the opposite of what the referenced kit provides—i.e. to use equipment and processes similar to those they use at home, not a radical departure there from. These users do not necessarily care about how small the shaving kit is, as it as long as it fits within a larger toiletry kit. In fact, many prefer equipment of normal dimension and design, instead of radically different, complex or inconvenient equipment.
With respect to U.S. Pat. No. 1,887,123, this case had as its object an extremely compact case for traveling, which included a shaving brush, cream, razors and blades. However this kit contained sub-compartments for each item, requiring the user to pivot the sub-containers laterally to access the contents, and using the upper housing of the container to secure the contents in the lower housing from movement, securing accessories in drawers, and with the kit directed to now-obsolete types of safety razors. However, the kit was so compact and compartmentalized that the convenience of using the case was significantly reduced.
The present invention enables a particular group of users—those who prefer to use a common sized and shaped safety razor, natural badger, boar or other type of bristle shaving brush, shaving cream or soap—to safely and hygienically use this equipment, in its standard form and size, safely and hygienically when traveling away from home. When traveling, these shaving items are difficult to store in common shaving kits and toiletry bags. Shaving soap is often maintained in an open cylindrical container or cup, and not sized or shaped for inclusion in a typical toiletry kit. Shaving brushes are often constructed from the hair of a badger, or other natural sources, and needs protection from damage, contamination, or decay. Men who travel frequently, military personnel, businessmen, outdoorsmen, and others who spend time away from home, who shave with a high quality brush and safety razor, must often therefore compromise their normal shaving experience when away from home. Typically they may leave their shaving brush at home, or purchasing disposable razors and cans of shave foam, or an electric razor. Additionally, many items required for shaving are often forgotten, such as extra blades, or other supplies. When packing safety razors in existing toiletry bags, there is risk of cuts due to exposed blades when reaching inside the bags, and risk of damage and contamination to blades and brush during transit from caused by materials inside the toiletry kit. Shaving brushes, when packed, are sometimes wet, typically unwieldy, and susceptible to damage or decay, which makes them difficult pack without an intermediate container. Existing toiletry bags do not allow for protection of safety razors or brushes, and typically not proportioned or equipped to secure larger circumference open canisters of shaving soap. While disposable razors are often sold with a plastic blade protector, they come off during travel, and non-disposable razors usually do not have such blade guards, which would nevertheless be cumbersome to use. Finally, box-kits on the market today are typically constructed from cardboard backing, with plastic, faux leather or leather covering, and tend to degrade over time with exposure to moisture and continued use. The present invention alleviates the aforementioned problems, by providing a sanitary, breathable, protected environment for fixed storage of common-sized modern safety razor, shaving cream, high quality natural brush, and all necessary after-shave articles during travel. The invention increases convenience by enabling a pre-packed shaving kit that reduces the chance of forgotten items by its individualized holders for each necessary item, reduces the chance of injury, contamination or damage with its protective, watertight housing, and also enables the shaving soap and brush user to experience their normal shaving experience, and use commonly sized and shaped equipment while away from home. This shaving kit also increases sanitation as it provides a hermetic sealing and spatial separation of blades, shaving brush and other objects. The shaving kit is constructed from an aluminum exterior, guaranteeing a lifetime of use. This shaving kit has been optimized for space—given the constraints of equipment size and convenience, and can fit in common toiletry bags, therefore avoiding the radical modifications to common shaving gear as found in previous art. This kit therefore enables the traveling users to experience the same high quality and sanitary shaving process found at home, without risk of injury, damage or contamination to shaving brush or safety razors, with a minimum of steps required to remove or replace the contents. Although carrying cases in general are known in the art, the present case is specifically adapted for its particular purpose by a unique size and shape, retention fixtures, compartmentalized storage areas, and shaving brush holder.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Consequently, a need has been felt there exists a need for a means by which a traveler can securely transport shaving items and accessories.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved compact portable shaving kit for the traveler who prefers to use a standard sized and shaped safety razor, high quality badger, boar, or other natural or otherwise easily damaged bristle shaving brush, and non-pressurized shaving cream or soap.
It is a feature of the present invention to provide an improved portable shaving kit that includes a crush-proof (up to 200 pounds), push-button latch, clamshell case, with fixed retention means for safety razors, shaving cream or soap, shaving brush, and accessories.
Another feature of the shaving kit is to provide a means to effectively secure the shaving brush in an inverted position after use, before repacking.
Briefly described according to one embodiment of the present invention, a shaving kit is provided that comprises a crush-proof, latched, watertight clamshell case, constructed from tempered aluminum or other lightweight, high tensile strength material. The case contains retention means for shaving soap or cream, shaving brush, one or more safety razors, and a storage means for accessory items such as extra razor blades, after-shave balm or cologne. The case also includes a portable, expandable holder for the shaving brush, for after-use storage in an upright, inverted position, and a mirror. The case is dimensioned for insertion into a travel bag, computer bag, or suitcase. To use the invention, the traveler opens the case locking fixture and removes the safety razors, shaving brush and shaving cream or soap from their secured positions, and uses as normal. After shaving, the user may store the shaving brush in an upright, inverted position by inserting the brush into a retractable holder, provided with the case. After use the user simply repackages the contents of the case, securing them in their respective retainers. Finally, the clamshell case is closed, and the pressure clasps engaged, forcing a watertight seal around the contents. The contents are then stored in a compact waterproof, crushproof, damage and contamination free environment for next use.
The use of the present invention allows the convenience of always having a complete shaving kit when traveling.
The use of the present invention allows the convenience of using similarly sized and shaped shaving gear, including high quality shaving brush, during travel as during home use without risk of injury or damage to equipment.
Another advantage of the present invention is that it can be housed inside of conventionally shaped and sized luggage and toiletry cases.
Yet another advantage of the present invention is that the shaving brush can be stored in an upright, inverted position after use.
Still another object of the present invention is that case is waterproof, crush-proof, and leak-proof.
Still another object of the present invention is that the shaving gear is secured to prevent movement or damage during travel.
Still another object of the present invention is that the case houses all shaving gear in one easily accessed location during travel.
Still another object of the present invention is that is contains a sealed breather hole that can allow the escape of moisture and hot air, while preventing exit or entrance of liquefied matter.
Still another object of the invention is that the layout of storage locations has been designed to optimize balance, by fixating the heavier container of shaving cream or soap in the center.
Still another object of the invention is that the retention devices for safety razors and shaving brush are expandable, to accommodate a variety of different sized items.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Generally, the present invention protects shaving gear during transport, aids in packing, enabling the user to store shaving gear in one place in individualized retainers, in a protective container specifically adapted for their storage and protection. The use of a curved, rigid case prevents damage to the outer luggage that could result from protruding corners. The relatively flat design also helps the case fit inside soft toiletry bags.
The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following more detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements are identified with like symbols, and in which:
FIG. 1 a is a perspective view of shaving kit with protective case according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 1 b is a top plan view of the lower case bottom of the protective case;
FIG. 1 c shows a front elevational view of the closed case, showing a draw-bolt closure means;
FIG. 1 d shows a side elevational view thereof shown in an open condition;
FIG. 1 e is a side elevational cross sectional view taken along line I-I of FIG. 1 b;
FIG. 2 a is a top plan view thereof shown housing a shaving brush, shaving cream, safety razors, expandable brush holder, and accessories pouch;
FIG. 2 b is a top plan view thereof shown without the shaving kit contents;
FIG. 3 a is a side perspective view of the expandable shaving brush holder;
FIG. 3 b is a top plan view of an expanded shaving brush holder;
FIG. 3 c is a top plan view of a shaving brush holder collapsed for storage;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the rigid container for shaving cream;
FIG. 5 a is a front elevational view removable aftershave container 50 for use with the present invention;
FIG. 5 b is a side elevational view of the aftershave container 50 of FIG. 5 a;
FIG. 6 a is a front elevational veiw of a removable cologne container 60 for use with the present invention;
FIG. 6 b is a side elevational view of the cologne container 60 of FIG. 6 a;
FIG. 7 a is a top plan view of the lower case bottom of the protective case according to an alternate configuration, replacing that of FIG. 1 b above;
FIG. 7 b is a side elevational cross sectional view taken along line VII-VII of FIG. 7 a;
FIG. 8 a is a top plan view of a toiletry case customized for use with the shaving kit;
FIG. 8 b is a rear elevational view thereof;
FIG. 9 is a side plan view of another type of toiletry case customized for use with the shaving kit;
FIG. 10 a is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a shaving kit configuration incorporating the features of the present disclosure;
FIG. 10 b is a perspective view thereof shown in an open configuration;
FIG. 11 a is a side view of an alternate embodiment of a shaving kit with a removable tray secured by a rounded interference fit, wherein the tray includes a plurality of recesses for holding and storing shaving items;
FIG. 11 b is a side view of another alternate embodiment of a shaving kit with a removable tray secured by a triangular interference fit;
FIG. 11 c is a side view of another alternate embodiment of a shaving kit with a removable tray secured by a rectangular interference fit; and
- DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 11 d is a perspective view of the removable tray and the plurality of recesses provided for storage of shaving items.
The best mode for carrying out the invention is presented in terms of its preferred embodiment, herein depicted within the Figures.
1. Detailed Description of the Figures
Referring now to FIG. 1 a-1 e, a protective case 10 is shown as a generally rectangular configuration with rounded corners. The protective case 10 has a rigid upper case housing 12 hingedly affixed only on one side to a rigid lower case housing 14. The rigid upper case housing 12 is removably secured to the lower case housing 14 by an otherwise conventional push-button latch 16 commonly found in aluminum type cases. Having a streamlined and thin cross section, the protective case 10 is anticipated being designed for easy storage in a slim type toiletry bag.
Referring now to FIG. 1 b and FIG. 1 e, the protective case 10 is shown from a top (FIG. 1 b) and a cross-sectional (FIG. 1 e) view to illustrate a first retaining means 27 a and a second retaining means 27 b, wherein the first and second retaining means include a flexible harness 28, a harness base 29 and a threaded finger 42 housed within the rigid lower case housing 14. The flexible harness 28 has a bell-shaped perimeter (best seen in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 1 e) formed by a unitary storage strip 28 a fixedly attached at opposite ends to a harness base 29, and with the unattached middle of the storage strip 28 a and the harness base 29 forming a harness aperture 28 c. The storage strip 28 a is fortified by a flexible strip 28 c, which provides the harness 28 with the flexibility necessary to expand or retract for securely storing items. The first retaining means 27 a is illustrated as a single harness 28 adapted for receiving and holding a shaving brush 22. The second retaining means 27 b is illustrated as a dual harness 28 adapted for receiving and holding smaller items, such as safety razors 20. Preferably, the storage strip 28 a is manufactured from cloth, nylon or other similar material so as to provide durable flexibility. Preferably, the flexible strip 28 b is manufactured from elastic or other flexible material to provide the added flexibility necessary for storage use. Preferably, the harness base 29 is manufactured from a durably flexible material, such as leather or other similar materials.
The threaded finger 42 is formed by a vertically elongated cylinder depending from the internal surface of the rigid lower case housing 14. The threaded finger 42 includes external threads for securely housing a storage container with a matching internally threaded cavity, such as the container 40 (discussed in detail later in the Description).
Referring now to FIG. 2 a-2 b, the protective case 10 is shown is in an open condition, thereby depicting the specifically adapted for use in storing or holding contents required for shaving, including one or more safety razors 20, a leak-proof receptacle for holding shaving soap or cream 40, a high quality natural badger, boar, or other bristled brush 22, shaving brush holder 30, accessories pouch 24, a mirror 26 and a toothbrush holder 27. Having a rigid lower housing 14 pivotally affixed to a rigid upper housing 12, the overall outer dimensions of 9 inches across the lateral front width by 5 inches along the lateral side length provides an interior volume “V” having a rectangular area specifically sized and proportioned to receive the contents mentioned above. Referring to FIG. 2 a, it can be seen that by providing a protective case 10 having a rigid outer wall of the specified dimension limits, the present invention incorporates a number of additional features, such as individual harnesses 28 for a pair of safety razors 20 and a shaving brush 22, constructed from leather straps, mounted inside an elevated leather base 29, with expandability through hook-loop fastener device, or plastic, vulcanized rubber, or other semi-rigid, non-scratch retention clips. The case also incorporates a threaded finger 42 in the center bottom housing to enable fixed retention of the shaving soap container 40 so as to provide balance and ease of use.
The protective case 10 also contains a removable accessories pouch 24, and inclusion of a panel 25 a housing a retention pouch 25 b for the expandable shaving brush holder 30 and mirror 26. The accessories pouch 24 is customized dimensionally for use with the shaving kit case, as it fits within the internal confines of the rigid upper case housing 12, with a planar surface extending to the limit of the shaving cream container fixed in the rigid lower case housing 14. The accessories pouch 24 is constructed from flexible, thin, waterproof material such as plastic, nylon, leather, or other material. It is envisioned in the preferred embodiment to affix the accessories pouch 24 to the planar inner wall of the rigid upper case housing 12 by use of a hook and loop fastener system or clasp. Although the case is shown zippered, with one zipper, as is presently anticipated as the preferred best mode of the present invention, it would be apparent to one skilled in the art, as well as within the scope of the present disclosure as limited only by the claims, that the case could contain a clasp, multiple zippers, or other closure means instead. The accessories pouch 24 also houses two intermediate containers for after-shave conditioning cream or balm, and cologne.
The protective case 10 also contains a toothbrush holder 18 and includes a linearly elongated two-piece structure, having a first member 18 a threadably coupled to a second member 18 b and forming an internal cavity for housing of a toothbrush 18 c. The toothbrush holder 18 is attached to the internal wall of the rigid upper case housing 12.
As shown in FIG. 2 a the case is shown with contents in secured positions for travel. It can be seen that the case optimizes space and balance by the positioning of the contents, and the customization of intermediate containers and contents to fit within the case. In the preferred embodiment, the safety razors 20 and shaving brush 22 are provided with the case, as they must fit within the case dimensionally. Though safety razors and shaving brushes may be of a myriad designs and shapes, it would be apparent to one skilled in the art, as well as within the scope of the present disclosure as limited only by the claims, that the present case can easily be modified dimensionally to accept smaller, larger, or dimensionally modified safety razor or brush. It should also be apparent to one skilled in the art, as well as within the scope of the present disclosure as limited only by the claims that the kit could theoretically be offered without the shaving brush or safety razors, or modified dimensionally to accept separately purchased safety razors and shaving brushes.
Referring now to FIG. 3 a and FIG. 3 c, the expandable brush holder 30 is seen in its preferred embodiment. The shaving brush 22 is secured in an inverted position, enabling the brush to drain excess water and attain full exposure to the air to speed the drying process and remain hygienically safe. The shaving brush holder 30 consists of three rigid portions 32 a, 32 b, 32 c, connected by, and pivoting around a friction type hinge 34, which fixates the three sections in their expanded and collapsed state, and restricts movement of panels to their parallel configuration only. The first rigid portion 32 a is slotted for insertion of the shaving brush 22. The second rigid portion 32 b contains an aperture 36 to allow the brush 22 to hang freely when secured in the holder 30. The third portion 32 c is solid, to impart weight to the base of the holder 30. When the shaving brush holder 30 is collapsed for storage, it can be inserted into a slot 25 b found in the accessories panel 25 b.
Referring now to FIG. 4, the cylindrical leak-proof container for shaving soap or cream 40 is shown. The container 40 has a threaded lid 46 which results in leak-poof storage of shaving cream. The bottom planar surface has a threaded opening 44, allowing the container to be affixed to the bottom surface of the case housing via the threaded finger 42 in the center bottom housing. The container, in its preferred embodiment, is constructed from high-strength molded plastic, aluminum, or other light, strong material. Though the threaded finger 42 is the preferred embodiment, it would be apparent to one skilled in the art, as well as within the scope of the present disclosure as limited only by the claims, that a the present container can easily be modified to use a hook-loop fastener, clip, strap, formed substrate, or other means to secure the container within the case.
Referring now to FIG. 5 a and FIG. 5 b, an aftershave container 50 is a flexible, transparent plastic tubular device with leak-proof cap 52, resulting in release of cream from container 50 when squeezed. FIG. 6 a-6 b shows a cologne container 60 constructed from plastic or glass, and is a rigid transparent container with leak-proof, threaded cap 62.
Referring now to FIG. 7 a and FIG. 7 b, an alternative embodiment of a protective case 10 is shown in which the tubular container 70 and container base 72 replace the harness 28 and harness base 29, respectively, from FIG. 1 b. The tubular container 70 is a substantially enclosed linearly elongated cylinder depending from a container base 72, which is affixed to the internal wall of either the rigid upper case lid 12 or the rigid lower case housing 14. The items to be stored within the tubular container 70 is placed slidably within or, via pressure, is pressed into the tubular container 70.
Referring now to FIG. 8 a and FIG. 8 b, a toiletry case 80 customized for use with the protective case 10 is shown. The toiletry case 80 is dome shaped perimeter and includes a central zipper 82 and a plurality of side zippers 84, which permit a user to access the internal confines of the toiletry case 80. As best seen in FIG. 8 b, the toiletry case 80 includes a protective case slot 86 formed by a pair of oppositely aligned side walls 88 and 90, and another pair of oppositely aligned side walls, so that the four side walls perpendicularly depend from one another to form the storage slot 86.
Referring now to FIG. 9, another alternative embodiment of a toiletry case 90 customized for use with the protective case 10 is shown. The toiletry case 90 includes a storage slot 86, similar to the storage slot of FIG. 8 a and FIG. 8 b, formed by four side walls perpendicularly depending from one another within the internal confines of the toiletry case 90.
Referring now to FIG. 10 a and FIG. 10 b, an alternative embodiment of the protective case 100 is shown. The protective case 100 includes a central storage area 102 formed by the internal wall of the case bottom 104 and the cover 106. The cover 106, via a closure means 108 (shown here as a zipper), is secured to the case top 110 to form the storage area 102. Along the case top 110, a plurality of closure means 112 are included to provide access to retention pockets 114 positioned along the lateral internal perimeter of the protective case 100. The cover 106 includes a plurality of closure means 116 to provide access to retention pockets 118. The cover 106 also includes a looped handle 120 so as to provide a means for transporting or hanging the protective case 100. The protective case 100 further includes a removable pouch 122 capable of storing accessories or other items.
Referring now to FIG. 11 a through FIG. 11 d, another alternate embodiment of the protective case 10 is shown. The protective case 10 includes a rigid upper case housing 12 and a lower case housing 14 hingedly affixed to the rigid upper case housing 12. The protective case 10 further includes a removable tray 152. The tray 152 is secured to the lower case housing 14 through an interference fit, wherein an aperture 154 is firmly pressed onto an appropriately shaped cleat 156. The aperture 154 is formed in a bottom surface of the tray 152. The cleat 156 is formed along the interior surface of the lower case housing 14. The aperture 154 and the corresponding cleat 156 may assume a variety of shapes or styles, including the ones depicted in FIG. 11 a through FIG. 11 c, such as a rounded cleat 158 (FIG. 11 a), a triangular cleat 160 (FIG. 11 b) or a rectangular cleat 162 (FIG. 11 c). The tray 152 includes a plurality of recesses 164 to receive and securely hold various sized and shaped shaving items, such as but not limited to a recess for a razor, a separate recess for a container of shaving soap or cream, and a recess for a shaving brush. When the shaving items are placed into the respective recesses 164, the rigid upper case housing 12 is downwardly pivoted onto the lower case housing 14, wherein the interior portion of the rigid upper case housing 12 presses against the stored items and impinges any internal movement of the items, thereby securely storing the items during transportation.
2. Operation of the Preferred Embodiment
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the user opens the protective case 10 and removes the shaving brush 22 and mechanical brush holder 30, and sets the brush 22 into the holder 30. The user also removes safety razors 20 and shaving cream 40. The user then proceeds to shave as normal. Afterwards, the brush 22 is rinsed and inserted into mechanical holder 30 to dry. Upon re-packing, the user inserts the safety razors 20 and brush 22 into the harnesses 28, and screws the shaving cream container 40 in place in the center of the kit. The user then replaces the mechanical shaving brush holder 30 into the retention pouch 25 b, and places all accessories into the zippered or clasped accessories container. The user closes the shaving cream container 40 until the upper and lower sections lock into place, and packs the kit into a toiletry or luggage case.
The foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. By ways of example, and not as a limitation, one such modification is shown in FIG. 7 a-7 b, in which a rigid plastic brush retention means 70 are shown for retention of the brush 22, and rigid plastic razor retention means 72 for retention of the safety razors 20 such as to be an alternative to the individual retention clips 28 for a pair of safety razors 20 and a shaving brush 22, constructed from leather straps, mounted inside an elevated leather base 29, with expandability through hook-loop fastener device, or plastic, vulcanized rubber, or other semi-rigid, non-scratch retention clips.
The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application, to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated, some of which are shown and described in FIG. 8 a through FIG. 10 b. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto and their equivalents. Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be limited only by the following claims.