Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2003024 Summary
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|(12) Patent:||(11) CA 2003024|
|(54) English Title:||SQUEEZABLE FLUID CONTAINER|
|(54) French Title:||RECIPIENT "PRESSABLE" DESTINE A CONTENIR UN LIQUIDE|
- Bibliographic Data
- Representative Drawing
- Admin Status
- Owners on Record
|(52) Canadian Patent Classification (CPC):||
|(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):||
|(72) Inventors :||
|(73) Owners :||
|(71) Applicants :|
|(74) Agent:||BERESKIN & PARR|
|(22) Filed Date:||1989-11-15|
|(41) Open to Public Inspection:||1990-05-23|
|(30) Availability of licence:||N/A|
|(30) Language of filing:||English|
|(30) Application Priority Data:|
An improvement in certain types of fluid containers is
disclosed. The improvement is particularly directed to a
certain type of squeezable fluid container that is made of a
flexible plastic material. Such a fluid container defines a
longitudinal axis and a cavity for containing a dispensable
fluid. The fluid container has flexible side walls, a sealed
bottom, a pair of spaced-apart sealed deformable side-edge
margins, and a sealed deformable upper-edge margin which is
unitary with an upper-edge portion of each of the side-edge
margins and which defines a fluid-discharge passageway of
generally serpentine configuration that communicates with the
fluid cavity. The improvement comprises an indent, defined
by at least one of the side-edge margins, for dividing the
fluid cavity into two fluid chambers along the longitudinal
axle. The two chambers are in fluid communication with each
other. One of the two fluid chambers is located adjacent to,
and is in fluid communication with, the fluid passageway.
The transverse cross-sectional area of the one fluid chamber,
which is in fluid communication with the fluid passageway, is
greater than the transverse cross-sectional area of the fluid
cavity in the vicinity of the indent. The indent is so
located relative to the upper-edge margin such that fluid
communication between the fluid passageway and the one fluid
chamber adjacent thereto is maintained when application of a
predetermined fluid-discharging squeezing pressure upon the
fluid container sidewalls causes deformation of the container
side-edge margin in the vicinity of the indent.
THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION IN WHICH AN EXCLUSIVE
PROPERTY OR PRIVILEGE IS CLAIMED ARE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS:
1. A squeezable container (20a) including flexible
sidewalls (26a) defining a cavity (34) for containing a
dispensible fluid (F), a bottom (24a), a pair of spaced-apart
outwardly-extending deformable side-edge margins (28a, 29a),
and an outwardly-extending deformable upper-edge margin (30a)
which is unitary with the side-edge margins (28a, 29a) and
which defines a fluid passageway (30a) of generally
serpentine configuration in communication with the fluid
cavity (34), wherein deformation of the upper-edge margin
(30a) in the vicinity of the generally serpentine fluid
passageway (32a) tends to block fluid communication between
the fluid passageway (32a) and the fluid cavity (34),
characterized in that the container (20a) further includes
deformation-causing means (38a, 39a) defined by at least one
of the outwardly-extending side-edge margins (28a, 29a) and
so spaced from the upper-edge margin (30a) by a predetermined
distance as to be effective for causing deformation to occur
in the one side-edge margin (28a, 29a) that is in the
vicinity of the deformation-causing means (38a, 39a), rather
than in the vicinity of the generally serpentine fluid
passageway (32a), upon application of a predetermined
squeezing pressure to the cavity-contained fluid (F) via the
container sidewalls (26a), whereby fluid communication
between the generally serpentine fluid passageway (32a) and
the fluid cavity (34) is maintained upon application of the
predetermined squeezing pressure to the cavity-contained
fluid (F) via the container sidewalls (26a).
2. The container of claim 1 wherein the container is a
flexible-plastic fluid container, and wherein the bottom of
the fluid container defines a free-standing base.
3. The container of claim 1, characterized in that the
deformation-causing means comprises an indent (38a, 39a)
formed in both of the side-edge margins (28a, 29a) of the
4. The container of claim 3, characterized in that one of
the indents (38') is spaced from the upper-edge margin (30a)
of the container (20a) a predetermined distance less than
that of the spacing of the other indent (39') from said
upper-edge margin (30a).
5. The container of claim 1, characterized in that the
deformation-causing means comprises an indent (38a, 39a)
formed in one of the side-edge margins (28a, 29a) of the
6. The container of any one of claims 3, 4 and 5,
characterized in that the indent (38a, 39a) is of generally
hemispherical shape (38', 39'), a square or rectangular
shape (38b, 39b), or a triangular shape (38e, 39e).
7. The container of any one of claims 3, 4 and 5,
characterized in that portions (38c, 39c) of the side-edge
margins (28c, 29c) immediately adjacent the one indent
(38a, 39a) are inset in similar fashion to the other indent
SQUEEZABLE FLUID CONTAINER
~he present invention is generally directed to a
5 ~queezable fluid container. The pre~ent invention, more
particularly, is d~rected to an imprsvement in that type of
~quee7able fluid container which has flexible, ~ealed upper-
edge and side-edg~ margins, and wherein the flexible upper-
edge margin defines a fluid-discharge passageway.
Many modern consumers prefer flexible plastic containers
over traditional inflexible containers ~uch as glass bottles
or metal containers for a vari~ty of reasons.
Glass bottles can crack, chip, break or explode -- often
15 at most inconvenient times. Metal containers can, at times,
be difficult to open. Many metal containers, moreover, once
open, can have sharp edges or burrs.
Certain viscous fluids, such as ketchup and certain
salad dressings, furthermore, can often more readily be
20 poured from flexible or plastic containers than from glass
bottles or metal containers of comparable general shape.
Also, many consum~rs are generally able to extract a greater
percentage of fluid residue from a ~lexible or squeezable
plastic container than would be possible were the fluid
~; 25 contained in ~ertain inflexible containers of comparable
volume. In certain storage situations, moreover, flexible
containers can be squ~ezed into relatively tight nooks or
crannies which would not otherwise accommodate an inflexible
fluid container of comparable general shape. Finally,
30 because flexible plastic containers, when empty, are
generally more readily compactible than certain metal and
most glass containers, relative ease of f luid container
disposal can, at times, be an important consumer
consideration in deciding which brand of a particular ~luid
35 product to purchase.
Thus, in light of a general preference by consumers for
~lexible plastic fluid containers, a variety of flexible
plastic containers, designed to meet a number of specific
-- 2 --
consumer demands and to provide certain desirable features,
have of late come into being.
U.S. Reissue Pat. No. 24,251 to Kaplan et al., for
example, disclo~es a fluid-dispensing container, made from
5 two sheets oP flexible plastic material, for containing
de~ired amounts of liquid. Such a container is ~aid to be
particularly adapted for shipment in sealed condition, and is
further sa~d to be provided with a tearabl~ strip along one
end ther~of to facilitate opening of the container. Such a
10 strip, when so torn, can thus be utilized for purposes of
dispensing the ~ontained liquid ~rom its container, as
desired, upon application of a predetermined fluid-dispensing
pressure to the sidewalls of khe container. See also U.S.
Pat. No. 4,717,046 to Brogli.
However, not all flexible plastic fluid containers need
ko made from two sheets of plastic, sealed together at their
edge margins, as Kaplan et al. disclose. In U.S. Pat. No.
2,517~027 to Rado, for example, there is disclosed a
collapsible tube-like container for certain viscous fluids
20 such as pastes.
Another version of a tear-away, sealing strip is
disclosed in U.S~ Pat. No. 3,278,085 to Brown, which patent
discloses a sachet container which is said to be "re-
sealable"O The sachet, also referred to as a so-called
"pouch pack", is deformable and is generally utilized to
contain, dispense and retain certain liquids, semi-liquids,
pastes, and the like.
In U.S. Pat. No. 3,473,532 to Eisenberg, moreo~er, a
bag-type of ~lexible plastic fluid container having a self-
30 closing one-way valve is disclosed. Certain features which
provide automatic retention of fluid contained by a flexible
plastic container, after such container has been opened, are
important design considerations in each of U.S. Pat. Nos.
3,815,794 and 3,878,977, both to Carlisle, U.S. Pat. No.
3,904,107 to Nishimura et al., each of U.S. Pat. Nos.
4,163,509 and 4,312,689, both to Amneus, and U.S. Pat. No.
4,252,257 to Herzig.
Originally-sealed fluid-discharge passageways which are
openable upon application of moderate pressure to the
... ~, . . :
~, , . , ; ,
.. . . . .
sidewalls of the flexible-plastic fluid container are
important design considerations in U S. Pat. No. 3,913,789 to
Miller and U.S. Pat. No. 4,537,308 to Hollander, Jr.; and
originally-sealed fluid passageways, openable other than by
5 application of such pressure to the sidewalls ~f the fluid
container, are important design considerations of the
flexible plastic fluid containers disclosed in U.S. Pat. No.
3,917,1~6 to Mason and U.S. Pat. No. 4,491,245 to Jamison.
Simplicity of overall design can also be an important
10 consideration, particularly when it is desirable to redu~e
manufacturing cost of each flexible plastic fluid container
unit. Thus, while it is possible to manufacture fluid
containers having necked-down fluid-discharge portions, as is
diæclosed in U.S. Pat. ~os. 3,815,794 and 3,878,977, both to
15 Carlisle, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,163,509 to Amneus, it is in
most situations desirable to produce flexible-plastic fluid
containers that are generally rectangular in shape. Indeed,
such a shape tends to reduce material waste and production
cost per flexible-plastic fluid container unit. The
20 flexible-plastic fluid containers disclosed in U.S. Reissue
Pat. No. 24,251 to Kaplan et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 4,491,245
to Jamison disclose flexible-plastic fluid containers that
are generally rectangular in shape. Unfortunately, in
flexible-plastic fluid containers of this type, undesired
25 container deformation tends to interfere with desired fluid-
For example, in certain flexible plastic fluid
containers -- such as those having flexible sidewalls, a
closed bottom, spaced-apart deformable side-edge margins, and
30 a deformable upper-edge margin which is unitary with each of
the side-edge margins and which defines a fluid-discharge
passageway -- deformation of that portion of the upper-edg~
margin defining the fluid-discharge pa~ageway can occur upon
application of pressure to the fluid container. Such
35 deformation typically restricts ~luid flow through the
discharge passageway and thus is a matter of annoyance to the
user. Moreover, and ~ased upon the configuration of the
particular fluid passageway, such deformation can at times
substantially reduce the effective fluid-discharge rate from
- 4 -
the container, whereby such fluid rate reduction renders the
fluid container unacceptable ~or its intended use. The
present invention solves just this sort of a problem.
. Summary Disclosure o~ Invention
The present invention is generally directed to an
improvement in certain types of flexible-plastic fluid
containers. More particularly, the prPsent invention i~
directed to an improvement in a squeezable container
including ~lexible sidewalls defining a cavity ~or containing
10 a dispen~ible fluid, a bottom, a pair of spaced-apart
outwardly-extending defsrmabl side-edge ~argins, and an
outwardly-extending deformable upper-edge margin which is
unitary with the side-edge margins and which defines a fluid
passageway of generally serpentin~ configuration in
15 communication with the fluid cavity, wherein deformation of
the upper-edge margin in the vicinity of the generally
serpentine fluid passageway tends to block fluid
communication between the fluid passageway and the fluid
cavity, characterized in that the container further includes
20 de~ormation-causing means defîned by at least one of the
outwardly-extending side-edge margins and so spaced from the
upper-edge margin by a predetermined distance as to be
e~ec ive for causing deformation to occur in the one side-
edge margin that is in the vicinity of the deformation-
causing means, rakher than in the vicinity of the generallyserpentinè fluid passageway, upon application of a
predetermined squeezing pressure to the cavity-contained
fluid via the container sidewalls, whereby fluid
communication between the generally serpentine fluid
30 passageway and the fluid cavity is maintained upon
application of the predetermined squeezing pressure to the
cavity-contained fluid via the container sidewalls.
In the preferred embodiment, the deformation causing
means comprises an indent, defined by at least one of the
side-edge margins, for dividing the fluid cavity into two
1uid chambers along the longitudinal axis.
The two chambers are in fluîd communication with each
other. One of the two fluid chambers is located adjacent to,
and is in fluid communication with, the fluid passageway in
:. `~ , -` , .
the upper adge margin of the container. The transverse
cross-sectional area of the one ~luid chamber, which is in
fluid communication with the fluid passageway, is greater
than the transvers~ cross-sectional area of the fluid cavity
in the vicinity of the indent.
The indent is so located relative to the upper-edge
margin such that fluid communication between the fluid
passageway and th~ one fluid chamber adjacent thereto is
maintained when application of a predetermined ~luid-
10 discharging squeezing pressure on the art~cle sidewallscauses deformation o~ the article side-edge margin in ~he
vicinity of the indent.
Additional features and advantagas of ths pr~sent
invention are discussed-in the following description of a5 number of preferred embodiments of the invention.
Brief Description of Drawinqs
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the
fluid container of the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is another perspective view o~ the fluid
20 container shown in FIGURE 1, illustrating side-margin
deformation which occurs in the vicinity of the indents when
a predetermined fluid-discharging pressure is applied to the
sidewalls of the fluid container.
FIGURE 3a is a partially-fragmented frontal view o~
25 another embodiment of the fluid container of the present
FIGURE 3b is a partially-fragmented frontal view of yet
another embodiment of the fluid container of the prasent
FIGURES 4a through 4f are a series of drawings, briefly
illustrating how that embodiment of the fluid container which
is shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 is made.
FIGURE 5 is a frontal view of yet another embodiment of
the fluid container of the present invention.
FIGURE 6 is a frontal view of still another embodiment
o~ the fluid container of the present invention.
FIGURE 7 is a frontal view of yet anothar embodiment of
the fluid container of the present in~ention.
:: . ,~.
FIGURE 8 is a frontal view o~ still another embodiment
of the fluid container of the present invention.
FIGURE 9 is a frontal view, in section, of yet another
ambodiment o~ th~ fluid container of the present invention~
FIGURE 10 is a ~rontal view of still another embodiment
o~ tha fluid container of the present invention.
FIGURE ll is a partially-~ra~mented frontal view of yet
another embodiment of the ~luid con~ainPr of the present
FIGURE 12 iS a frontal view of still another embodiment
o~ the fluid container of the present invention.
FIGURE 13 is a drawing, briefly illustrating how that
embodiment of the fluid container which is shown in FIGURE 12
FIGURE 14 is a side view, taken ~rom the plane 14-14, of
that embodiment of the fluid container which is shown in
Throughout the drawings, like reference numerals refer
to lik parts.
~est Mode For Carryina Out the Invention
Referrin~ initially to FIGURES 1 and 2, there is shown
one embodiment of the flexible-plastic fluid container 20a of
the present invention. Such container 20a, which defines a
longitudinal axis X-X, comprises an upstanding sealed base or
25 bottom 24a, flexible sidewalls 26a, a pair of sealed spaced-
apart deformable side-edge margins 28a and 29a, and a sealed
deformable upper-edge margin 30a which is unltary with an
upper-edge portion o~ each of the side-edye margins 28a and
29a. The upper-edge margin 30a defines a fluid passageway
Another embodiment o the invention is the fluid
container 20b shown in FIGURE 9. This fluid rontainer 20b is
similar to container 20a but is modified in the form of an
envelope having a bottom 24b which is sealed along a bottom
Like container 20a, the sidewalls o~ the fluid container
20b define a cavity 34 ~or containing a dispensable fluid F~
This is best seen by referring to FIGURE 9 which is presented
in sec$ion along longitudinal axis X-X. Container 2Ob has a
- , ~ , - . .
,: : , : , : .
. . ~ . . ..
2 ~7~ 3 ~ ~
sealed deformable upper-edge margin 30b which is unitary wi~h
the de~ormable side-edge margins 2sb and 29bo The fluid
passageway 32b formed in the upper-edge margin 30b
communicates with the fluid cavity 340 (See FIGURE 9~
The side-eage margins ~8b and 29b defin~ indents 38a and
39a for dividing the cavity 34 into two ~luid chambers 40 and
42 along the longitudinal axis X-X. (FIGURE 9.) One of th2
fluid chamber 40 and 42, namely upper fluid chamber 40, i~
located ad~acent to and is in fluid communication with the
1~ fluid passageway 32b. The cross~sectional area of the one
~luid chamber 40 (such cross-~ectional area being transverse
to the longitudinal axis X-X) is greater than the ~ransverse
cross-sectional area o~ the fluid cavity 34 in the vicinity
o~ the indents 38a and 39a.
The indents 38a and 39a are so located relative to the
upper-edge margin 3Oa such that fluid communication between
the fluid passageway 32a and the one fluid chamber 40
adjacent thereto is maintained when application of a
predetermined fluid-dispensing squeezing pr~ssure upon the
20 container sidewalls causes deformation of the container side-
edge margins 28b and 29b in the vicinity of the indents 38a
and 39a. (See FIGURE 2.)
- FIGURES 3a and 3b show that the fluid container need
only have one such indent. The single indent 39a can be in
25 distal relation to the fluid passageway 32a (FIGURE 3a~ or
the single indent 39a can be located adjacent ta the fluid
passageway 32a (FIGURE 3b).
The indent or indents can take a variety o~ shapes, in
accordance with the present invention. For example, the
30 container side-edge margins 28a and 29a can define generally
hemispherical-shaped indents 38' and 39' (FIGURE 5), square-
shaped or rectangular-shaped indents 38b and 39b (FIG~RE 6)/
triangular-shaped indents 38e and 39e (FIGURE 7), etc~
Moreover, portions of the side-edge margins 28c and 29c
35 defining the indents 38c and 39c can project inwardly as is
shown in FIGURE 8.
As shown in FIGURE 5, where indents are provided in both
container side-edge marqins, the indents 38a' and 39a' can be
spaced somewhat differently from the upper-edge margin 39a,
relative to each other, in accordance with ~he principles of
the present invention.
As was briefly mentioned above, one em~odiment of the
~luid container 20a of th~ present invention has a base 24a
5 which enables such embodiment of the fluid container to be
~ree-standing, also referred to herein as "upstanding~'. (see
FI~URES 1 and 2.)
Reference is next invited to FIGURES 4a through 4f for
10 purpose~ of briefly discussing how such a fluid container is
made. Starting with an elongated strip o~ flexible plastic
material 44 (FIGURE 4a), oriented longitudinally, a
transverse crease 46 is formed, and back-folds 48 so formed
as to straddle the crease 46 and bring the opposite end
15 portions of the elongated plastic material 44 into close
proximity (FIGURE 4b). Next, one pair of lower, side-edge
margins 50 between the crease 46 and one back-fold 48 is
sealed (FIGURE 4c); then the other pair of lower, side-edge
margins 51 is similarly sealed (FIGURE 4d), thereby closing
20 the bottom. Lower edge portions 52 of the thus-sealed side-
edge margins ars ~urther sealed together so as to provide a
free-standing base (FIGURE 1). Next, the sides are sealed;
and the container is filled with a predetermined dispensable
fluid. Finally, the top is sealed, forming an upper-edge
~5 margin which defines *he fluid-discharge passageway. (FIGURE
4f . ) In this manner, a free-standing fluid container,
generally wider at the top than at the base, aan thus be
formed. (Please refer to FI~URES 5 through 8.)
In certain situations, as in those cases where it would
30 be advantageous to have the fluid containers be as closely
packable to each other as possible, it will be desirable to
have a ~luid container which is generally rectangular in
projected frontal view, as is shown in FI~URE 1~. Those
skilled in the art can appreciate that it will accordingly ~e
35 desirable to start out not with a generally rectangular
Plongat~d strip of flexible plastic material, as is shown in
FIGURE 4a, but rather with a strip that is generally wider in
the vicinity of the crease 46 and back-folds 48, as is shown
in FIGURE 13.
. i .~ ~ .
As wa~ briefly mentioned above, the ~luid container of
the present inventlon need not have a free-standing base; but
rather~ can have a simple, closed bottom, as those
embodiments presented in FIGURES 9 and îO illustrate.
5 Indeed, for convenience, the flexible plastic fluid container
of the pres~nt invention can readily be constructed so a~ to
be relatively thin (FIGURE 14), so as to ¢onveniently ~it in
a consumer ' s shirt pocket or lady ' s purse .
One such envelope-like flexible--plastic fluid con~ainer
10 Pmbodiment o~ the present invention comprises two flexible-
plastic sheets 56 sealed together along their bottom margin
58, side margins 28d and 29d, and upper margin 30d. ~Please
refer to FIGVRES 10 and 14~) The side margins 28d and 29d
define the indents 38d and 39d. The upper margin 30d defines
15 the fluid-discharge passageway 32d. The plastic sheets 56
defi~ a fluid-containing cavity. One such cavity 34 is
illustrated in the enYelope-type of fluid container
embodiment that is ~hown in FI&URE 11.
The general shape and diameter of the fluid-discharye
20 passageway is a matter of design choice, as will ~e
understood by those skilled in the art. For example, the
diameter of the fluid-discharge passageway can be relatively
small (FIGURE 9), can be relatively large (FIGUR~ 11) or can
be of intermediate diameter (FIGURE 10). That end portion of
~5 the ~luid-dischar~e passageway which communicates with the
upper fluid chamber of the fluid cavity, moreover, can be
arranged gener~lly along the longitudinal axis X-X, as is
shown in FIGURE 9, or can be generally spaced therefrom (see,
e.g., FIGURES 10 and 11. )
Generally, the upper margin is formed in a manner such
that the fluid-discharging end of the fluid passageway is
initially sealed. Referring initially to FIGURES 1 and 2,
for example, the fluid-discharging end 64a, originally
sealed, is so formed as to be rupturable when pressure in the
35 fluid-discharge passageway 32a (FIGURE 2) reaches a
predetermined value. In particular, upon achieving such a
pre~sure in the fluid-discharge passageway 32a, the fluid-
di~charging end 64a opens. Such rupturable seals are well
- : . . ., :.
,- ~ ; ,:. : .. .: ...
. : . ., . ~ . .
:. . . ~: .. , ,.,: . : .... -. - ; ::: . : :.
-- 10 --
known in the art. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 4,537,308 to
~ till, in other situations, it is desirable to cut the
upper-edge margin 30d along an indicatPd cut lins 66 (ses,
5 e.g., FIGURES 10 and 11~ to open the s~aled fluid-discharge
Yet, in still other situations, it is desirable to so
form the upper-edge margin 3Ob uch that the margln 3Ob not
only defines the fluid-discharge passageway 32b but also
10 defines a so-called "tear-away" tab 68. In particular, such
an edge marg~n 30~ further preferably defines a preformed
score line 70, so formed in the upper-edge margin 30b as to
~nable the tab 68 to readily be removable from the remainder
of the margin 30b (along the score line 70) while opening the
15 fluid~discharging end 64b of the fluid-discharge passageway
32b. (Please refer to FIGURE 9.)
What has been illustrated and described herein is an
improvement in certain types of squeezable articles of
manufactur~ such as fluid containers made of flexible-plastic
20 material. While the improvements have been illustrated and
described with reference to certain preferred embodiments,
the present invention is not limited thereto. In particular,
the ~oregoing specification and embodiments are intended to
be illustrative and are not to be taken as limiting. Thus,
25 alternatives, such as structural or mechanical equivalents,
and other modifications will become apparent to those skilled
in the art upon reading the foregoing description.
Accordingly, such alternatives, changes and modifications are
to be consid~red as forming a part of the present invention
insofar as they fall within the spirit and scope of the
. . ~ ~ . . - .
, ~ . . .. ~, :. ... . .
For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee and Payment History should be consulted.
|Forecasted Issue Date||1994-05-17|
|(41) Open to Public Inspection||1990-05-23|
|Fee Type||Anniversary Year||Due Date||Amount Paid||Paid Date|
|Registration of Documents||$0.00||1990-04-06|
|Reinstatement: Failure to Pay Application Maintenance Fees||$200.00||1992-01-15|
|Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act||2||1991-11-15||$100.00||1992-01-15|
|Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act||3||1992-11-16||$100.00||1992-03-31|
|Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act||4||1993-11-15||$100.00||1993-10-05|
|Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act||5||1994-11-15||$150.00||1994-10-31|
|Current Owners on Record|
|S. C. JOHNSON & SON, INC.|
|Past Owners on Record|
|BILLMAN, FRED L.|
|JAMISON, MARK D.|
|WORTLEY, RUSSELL B.|