THE BRITISH LIBRARY

In through the outfield blog

08 April 2009

Squeezing out the last from a tube

It is always annoying when you can't get the last residues out of a tube, such as a toothpaste tube, no matter how hard you try. I've come across a solution to this problem.

Butterfly Technology (UK) Limited has, with its Squeeze with Ease™ technology, patented a Deformable dispensing tube. The web site illustrates how it works with an attractive video which has been described as "sexy" elsewhere on the Web (I would not disagree).

By applying a force anywhere near the end of the tube, what the patent coyly calls an "internal device" (some sort of piston) moves towards the opening to deliver a dose of the contents. In this way the tube is progressively emptied. No waste and no nuisance struggling with the tube, and there is even a coloured dot showing when the tube is empty. The disabled would find using tubes a lot easier.

The patent gives William Bell and Jonathan Jones as the inventors, but the web site credits Susan Bell with starting the innovation process. She worked as a senior nurse in renal transplants at the Royal Free, Hampstead, and wanted to improve the dispensing of medicinal creams. She has demonstrated the product on This Morning Mumpreuner, an ITV show which I must admit I have not come across. 

William Bell has an engineering background and Jones in design. This shows in the video --  the product looks very sharp, and I'd like to see it used in transparent tubes where the contents can be seen through like many shampoos and the like. I don't believe it's available at the shops yet.  

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