US 1075050 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
M. A. MIHILLS.
LETTER OPENING MAOHINE.
APPLICATION FILED SEPT. 6, 1912. 1,075,050. Patented 001;. '7, 1913.
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M. A. MIHILLS.
LETTER OPENING MACHINE.
APPLICATION FILED SEPT. 6, 1912.
1,075,050, Patented Oct. 7, 1913.
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MERRICK A. MIHILLS, OF HIGHLAND PARK, ILLINOIS.
Application filed September 6, 1912.
To all whom it may concern Be it known that l, MERRIOK A. MIHILLs, a citizen of the United States, residing at Highland Park, in the county of Lake and State of Illinois have invented new and useful Improvements in Letter-Opening Machines, of wnich the following is a specification.
This invention is an improved letter opening machine and consists in the construction, combination and arrangement of devices hereinafter described and claimed.
One object of my invention is to provide an improved machine for opening letters by cutting 011 the ends of the envelope containing the letters and without injury to the contents.
Another object is to effect improvements in the construction of the base of the machine.
Another object is to provide improved means for guiding and adjusting the cutter.
Another object is to effect improvements in the construction of the cutter.
Another object is to provide improved means to prevent a number of letters from being fed to the machine simultaneously and interferingwith the successful opera tion thereof.
Another object is to provide improved means for regulating the width of the part out off from an envelop by the machine.
In the accompanying drawings :Figure 1 is a perspective View of a letter opening machine constructed in accordance with my invention. Fig. 2 is a vertical transverse sectional view of the same. Fig. 3 is partly a longitudinal section and partly a side elevation of the same, showing the opposite side from that disclosed in Fig. 1. Figs. 4 and 5 are detail sectional views.
The base 1 of my improved letter opening machine is hollow and is preferably made of suitable sheet metal. The main member 2 of the base comprises a top 3, a Wall 14 at one side of the top, and a downwardly extending flange 5 at the opposite side of the top, the said Wall and flange being bent from and formed integrally with the top. A longitudinal wall 6 is spaced from that side of the top provided with the flange 5 and is connected to the top by means of a pair of end walls or members 7 each of which is formed with flange 8 that partially over- Specification of Letters Patent.
laps and bears on the outer side of the top Patented Clot. 7, 1913.
Serial No. 718,992.
and its wall 1 and with a flange 9 which partially overlaps and bears on the outer side of one end the wall 6. The said end members are also formed with inwardly eX- tending horizontally arranged lu 's 10 for a purpose presently described. The flanges 8-9 of the end members are secured to the top and to the wall 6 by means of suitable screws 11. The wall "6 is formed with rack teeth 12 on its upper edge. A ledger plate 13 which is preferably made of sheet steel is arranged on the top 2 with its ends under the flanges 8 and is secured in place on the top by means of bolts 14 which pass through openings 15 in the top, which openings are of greater diameter than the bolt and, hence, admit of adjustment of the ledger plates. Each bolt is provided with a washer 16 which bears against the under side of the top and is also provided with a nut 17. The top has openings 18 near its ends and near its side wall 41 and at the inner side of each of said openings is a downturned lug 19 formed integrally with and struck up from the top. The ledger plate 13 is provided near its end with downwardly extending studs 20 which operate in the opening 18. Adjusting screws 21 are swivelly connected to the lugs 19, engage threaded openings in the studs 20 and their outer ends project outwardly through openings in the wall 1 and are provided with cuts for engagement by a screw-driver wh erewith to turn the said adjusting screws to effect the adjustment of the ledger plate. To effect the swivel connection between the adjusting screw and the lugs 19, each lug has a vertical opening 22 which open at its upper end and the lower end of which. is semicircular and each screw 91 is provided at a suitable distance from its inner end with an annular groove 23 which engages the lower side of said opening. Hence, while the adjusting screws are thus connected to the lugs of the top and permitted to be turned they are prevented from moving longitudinally. Une edge of the ledger plate projects beyond the flange 5, as shown in Fig. 2. The lower side of the base is closed by a bottom plate 2% which fits between the end member 7 and the walls a and 6, is provided with upwardly extending flange walls 25 to bear against the inner side of the end wall of the base and is also provided, at its ends, with upwardly extending spring fingers 26 which frictionally engage the inner side of the end wall and hold the bottom in place. The bottom plate is'also formed near its corners with recesses 27 which form sockets for the reception of the upper end of rubber cushions or feet 28. To facilitate the removal of the bottom plate, from the base, said bottom plate is provided with an opening 29 through which a finger may be inserted. By thus constructing the base of my improved letter opening machine, the said base may be very readily manufactured at slight cost, is extremely strong and durable, presents a very attractive appearance and the parts of the base may be readily disassembled. Moreover, such construction of the base greatly facilitates the adjustment of the ledger plate and the flanges 8 of the end walls of the base which partially overlap the ends oi the said ledger plate cover and protect the ledger plate.
I also provide a guide bar 30 which is arranged between the rack 12 of the wall 6 and the flange 5 of the top, bears on the upper edges of the end members 7, is spaced from the flange hand the ledger plate and is secured in place on the lugs 10 of the end members 7 by means of rivets or other suitable devices 31. This guide bar is also socured to the wall 6 by means of clips or brackets 32 which lie in the angle between the bottom of said guide bar and the inner side of the wall 6, are secured to the said.
I guide bar by rivets 33 and are secured to the said wall 6 by bolts 34. The said guide bar is longer than the base, its ends project be yond the ends of the base and are rounded. Pillow posts 3536 rise from opposite ends of the guide bar 30 and are secured thereon by suitable screws 37. The said pillow posts are respectively provided with spherical heads 38-39. A longitudinally arranged guide rod 40 has one end inserted in a socket in the head 38 and the other end extended Hence,
the said guide rod may be readily removed from the pillow posts and it may be also turned in the socket and opening of the heads thereof. To secure the said guide rod in place at any desired adjustment, I provide a set screw 41 which is threaded in an opening in the upper side of the head 39 and the lower end of which bears on the guide rod. The guide rod is provided with a longitudinal groove 42 in its upper side.
The cutter comprises a block or head 43 and a cutter wheel 44 which is carried thereby; the said block has a groove in its lower side which is engaged by the upper side 01 the guide bar 30, so that said block is adapted to slide longitudinally on the said bar and the said block also has a longitudinal opening near its upper side through which the guide rod extends so that the said block is also movable longitudinally on the guide red. A pin 45 in the upper side of the said block engages the groove 42 in the guide rod. In opposite sides of the block 43 are recesses 46.47 in which a spurgear 48 and the cutter wheel 44 are respectively ar ranged, the spur gear engaging the raclr12 and the cutter wheel presenting its lower side to the projecting edge of the ledger plate 13. A sleeve or boxing 49 which is tubular in form is mounted ina bearing in the block 43 and is provided at one end with a disk 50 and at the opposite end with an angular projection 51. A bolt 52 extends through the sleeve 49. The cutter wheel is fitted on said bolt and bears between the head of the bolt and the disk 50. The gear 48 is fitted on the angularportion 51 of the sleeve and is held by a washer 53 and a nut 54 with which the said bolt is provided, and, hence, the said spur gear, the cutter wheel, the sleeve and the bolt are free to rotate together, rotary motion being caused by the longitudinal movement of theblock 43 and the engagement of the gear 48 with the rack 12. The edge 55 of the cutter wheel, on the side opposed to the ledger plate 13 is outturned and projects from the face of said cutter wheel so that the thickness of the cut-- ter wheel is increased at the cutting edge thereof and the face of the cutter wheel is very slightly spaced from the ledger plate while the thickened edge of the cutter wheel is directly against the edge of the ledger plate. This construction 01 the cutter wheel very greatly increases its efiiciency and enables the cutter wheel in connection with the ledger plate to make a clean cutof the end of an envelop presented to the guide bar 30. Owing to the mounting of the guide rod 40 for angular movement or partially rotary movement in the head of the pillow post, the provision of the groove in the said guide rod and the pin in the block 43 the said block with its-cutter is caused to move angularly with the said guide rod and, hence, the cutter wheel may be readily adjusted to bear against the edge of the ledger plate. When this adjustment has been effected the set screw 41 is then engaged with the guide rod to secure the block and the cutter wheel in adjusted position. I
in order to prevent thick matter or more than one letter to be fed to the, machine at a time, to be cut at one end by the action of l which facilitates the feeding of a letter in an envelop under the presser bar, on and across the ledger plate and to one side of the guide bar. The pivot arms 57 of the presser bar 56, by extending under the guide bar 30 strike the latter when the presser bar raised to an extent to enable a proper quantity or thickness of matter to be fed to the machine and, hence, the presser bar prevents over-feeding of material to the action of the cutter wheel. There is a button or handle 61 on the upper side of the block which may be readily grasped to enable the cutter to move longitudinally on the guide bar and guide rod so as to run the cutter wheel across the end of the envelop and cut off the same. Owing to the proximity of the edge of the ledger plate to the guide bar 30 which acts as a gage and also owing to the fact that the cutter wheel is a thin steel disk, the width of the part out from the end of the envelop is very slight so that there is no danger of injuring the letter or the contents of the envelop. In practice, the thickness or width of the regular out from the end of the envelop is about onethirty-second of an inch. To reduce the thickness of this cut when desired, 1 provide a pair of gage plates 62 which are made of thin. spring steel and each of which is formed at one end with an arm 63 at right angles thereto. The outer end of each gage plate is beveled on its outer side to form a sharp edge 64. Each gage plate is also provided with a finger piece 65 which projects outwardly from the upper side thereof. The arms of the gage plates are pivotally mounted at opposite ends of the block 43 on screws 66 which engage threaded openings in said block, and spring washers 67 are placed on said screws and bear between the heads of the screws and the outer side of said arm. Hence, the gage plates are pivotally connected to the ends of the block so that they may be turned down and caused to bear on the side of the guide bar 30 and between the latter and the ed of the ledger plate or they may be turned up out of the way. When the said gage plates are turned down they engage the ends oi an envelop prcsei'ited to the guide bar and move the envelop slightly from the guide bar to the ex tent equal to their own thickness before the cutter knife reaches the envelop, thus reduc- 3 ing the thickness of the cut envelop to about one sixty-fourth of an inch. The coarser cut is more desirable when the machine is to be laterally operated on a number of letters in succession. The narrower cut may be used when the machine is operated more slowly.
Vi hile I have herein shown and described a preferred embodiment of my letter opening machine, I would have it understood that changes may be made in the form, proportion and coi'istruction of the several parts,
without departing from the spirit of my invention and within the scope of the ap pended claims.
it claim 1. A letter opening machine comprising a base having a rack, a guide bar and a ledger plate, the latter having one edge presented to and spaced from one side of the guide bar, in combination with a cutter comprising a block mounted for longitudinal movement on the guide bar, a rotary cutter wheel carried by the block and a gear also carried by the block, connected to the cutter wheel to turn the latter and engaging the said rack and gage plates connected to and movable with the block and mounted for movementtoward and from the ledger plate and guide bars.
2. A letter opening machine comprising a base having a rack, a guide bar and a ledger plate the latter having one edge presented to and spaced from one side of the guide bar, in combinationwith a cutter comprising a block mounted for longitudinal movement on the guide bar, a rotary cutter wheel carried by the block and a gear also carried by the block, connected to the cutter wheel to turn the latter and engaging the said rack, and a gage plate movable toward and from the ledger plate and guide bar, said gage plate having arms bearing against and pivotally connected to the ends of said block and springs bearing on said arms to frictionallyhold the gage plate in adjusted position.
3. In a machine of the class described, the combination of a base having a ledger plate, a guide rod mounted on the base and axially movable, means to hold the guide rod in adjusted position, a block mounted on the guide rod for longitudinal movement and for axial or angular adjustment therewith, and a cutter wheel carried by the block and adapted to be set at the required adjustment to the ledger plate by the angular adjustment of the block and guide rod.
4:. In a machine of the class described, a base, a ledger plate thereon, a guide bar on the base, opposite the ledger plate, a head mounted for longitudinal movement on the guide bar, a rotary cutter carried by the head and to coact with the ledger plate, and a presser bar pivotally mounted on the base, above the ledger plate and opposite the guide bar, said presser bar having limited vertical movement for the purpose set forth.
5. In a machine of the class described, a base, a guide bar thereon, a head mounted for longitudinal movement on said guide bar, a rotary cutter carried by the head and operating on one side of the guide bar, and a ledger plate mounted on the base and adjustable toward and from said side of the guide bar.
6. In a machine of the class described, a
base, a guide bar thereon, a head mounted for longitudinal movement on said guide bar, a rotary cutter carried by the head and operating on one side of the guide bar, and a ledger plate mounted on the base and adjustable toward and from said side or" the guide bar, the said base having a top pro vided with openings and depending lugs, said ledger plate having depending studs to operate in said opening, and adjusting screws for h ledger plate threaded in said stud and swivelly connected to said lugs.
7. In a machine of the class described, a base, a guide bar thereon, a head mounted for longitudinal movement on said guide bar, a rotary cutter carried by the head and Operating on one side of the guide bar, and a ledge-r plate mounted on the base and adjustable toward and from said side of the guide bar, the said base having a top provided with openings and depending lugs, said ledger plate having depending studs to operate in said opening, and adjusting screws for the ledger plate threaded in said stud and swivelly connected to said lugs, said lugs having openings open at their upper side and said screws having annular grooves engaged with said lugs at the closed lower side of said opening.
8. In a machine of the class described, a
Copies of this patent may be obtained for hollow base comprising a sheet metal top having a downturned wall at one side, end members having flanges certain of which bear and partially overlap said top and wall at their ends, and a wall opposite and spaced from the first-mentioned wall and engaged with and secured to the other flanges of the end members.
9. ln, a machine of the class described, a hollow base comprising a sheet metal top having a downturned wall at one side, end members having flanges certain of which bear and partially overlap said top and wall at their ends, a wall opposite and spaced from the first-mentioned wall and engaged with and secured to the other flanges of the end members, a ledger plate .on the top and having its ends engaged under the first named flanges of the end members, and a guide bar spaced from the ledger plate and 50 supported on the end members, the latter having lugs bearing under and secured to the guide bar.
In testimony whereof I affix my signature in presence of two witnesses.
MERRICK A. MIHILLS. lVitnesses:
E. J. 000K, 'J. C. GAIGE.
five cents each, by addressing the Commissioner of Patents,
Washington, D. G.