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Publication numberUS1157949 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 26, 1915
Filing dateSep 8, 1914
Priority dateSep 8, 1914
Publication numberUS 1157949 A, US 1157949A, US-A-1157949, US1157949 A, US1157949A
InventorsBenjamin D Miller
Original AssigneeE S Landes, W B Bryson, Peter C Given, George H Kepple, Benjamin D Miller
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric-alarm mail-box.
US 1157949 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



1,157,949. I Patented Oct. 26, 1915.



Specification of Letters Patent.

I Patented Oct. 26, 1915.

Application filed September 8, 1914. Serial No. 860,819.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, BENJAMIN D. MILLER, a citizen of the United States, residing at Wooster, in the county of Wayne and State of Ohio, have invented a new and useful Electric-Alarm Mail-Box, of which the following is a specification.

My invention relates to a class of mailboxes which give an electrically operable alarm when the lid thereof is moved up and down, to announce such fact to persons interested.

The objects of my invention, are, first, to provide a mail box for residences and oilices, of simple and inexpensive construction, affording simpler and better mean for mak ing electrical connections with the annunciator than usually employed for the purpose; second, to provide means for sounding an intermittent alarm of variable character; and third, to provide eflicient means for 10- eating several mail boxes on the same line, each having a different alarm, suited to call the attention of particular persons thereto; and, lastly, to provide means for using a plurality of mail boxes on the same electric line, each adapted to sound a different alarm,

in connection with one or more call-bells, such as commonly used and operated by push-buttons having electrical connections, in ofiices and dwellings.

It consists of the novel devices and combination of elements as hereinafter set forth, andstated in the appended claims.

My invention is illustrated by the accompanying drawing, in which similar letters of reference indicate like parts.

Referring thereto, Figure 1 is a side view of a mail box embodying my invention, in connection with an ordinary electrical battery and call-bell; Fig. 2 is a sectional view of the upper portion of my mail box showing interior of lid at one end and electrical connections therein; Fig. 3 i a detailed view of a portion of box and lid, the latter being raised, to exhibit intermittent electrical connections; Fig. 4 is a detailed view of my device for making intermittent connections of varying lengths, and Fig. .5 is a modification of same.

In the drawings, A is an electrical callbell, such as commonly used; B is a mail box; C, a battery of the dry variety; D, a section of a door jamb E is a door-bell push button; F, the mail-box lid; G is a marginal extension downwardly at one end of the lid, for a purpose hereafter stated; H is a metalhc member, made (preferably of thin sheet copper, and provide with finger extensions 7; and I is a resilient rod or strip terminating with a head and adapted to connect with the several fingers f f in succession when the hd L is moved up and down. Electric wires a and I) connect the battery C and callbell A- in the usual well known way, so as to ring the bell when the push-button E is actuated, and 0 shows electric wires in connection with the wires a I), behind the pushbutton E. Their connection at this point 1s not absolutely essential, as it may be made at any point on the lines a b, where most convenient, but as themail box is located outside of a residence or building, electrical connection may be made at the point indicated without making any opening through the walls, and the bell A may thus be sounded from the mail-box independently of the push-button E, and by the push-button in dependently of the mail-box.

In order to distinguish calls made from the mail-box from those made by use of the push-button, I provide the means best shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The lid F is hinged to the back of the box 13 by hinge leaves it, as

shown in Figs. 1 and 2. One of said hin es, by its construction and material, (pre erably brass), is adapted to conduct an electric current from one of its leaves to the other when ,one of them is connected with the electric wire C, inthe usual way of making electric connections. Variable intermittent action of the ,call"bell A, as hereafter "set-forth, is accomplished by means of the -metallic member H, its novel construction and arrangement, and adaptation to the exchange of said member for another differing therefrom in signaling capacity. Said member comprises a triangular body, having its apex perforated as shown, and a plurality of fingers f f extending radially away from said apex, and is secured flatwise upon the inner surface of said marginal projection G by any suitable fastener passed through said perforation, and is thus adapted to be readily removed and another substituted having a different arrangement of fingers. The outer ends of said fingers lie close upon, or, if preferred, may be set into said inner back of the box, and is thus brought into close roximity to and directly underneath a leaf k of said hinge, to which it is electrically connected by a wire 10 passing through said lid, as shown in Fig. 2. An intermittent circuit is made with said fingers f, successively, by means of a resilient metallic rod I, attached to the inside corner of said box below said fingers, in such a manner as to cause the free end of said rod to pass transversely over and upon said fingers when said lid is moved up and down, said rod being connected with one of the poles of an electric battery, in the usual well known way. The metallic fingered plate H, being detachable as aforesaid, permitsthe easy exchange of one plate for another adapted to sound an altogether different alarm; said difference being caused by the substitution of a plate having either more or less fingers thereon, or, some of the fingers radiating at different angles from others thereon, or, by having some of the fingers thereon broader than others, or, by narrowing or widening the spread of the group of fingers, or by any desired combination of said changes, whereby distinctive signals may be given to different mail boxes on the same line, or connected therewith. Provision may thus be made for sounding an alarm when the lid is only slightly raised, or, when lifted high enough to admit or remove mail matter, or, so as to make a long continued alarm on the call bell, or stop the signal at any desired position of the lid.

'I am aware that a device for producing distinctive intermittent signals by the up and down movement of a hinged shelf in connection with a toothed rearward extension from said shelf, has been used before, but such device cannot be applied to a mail box for Want of room for its operation therein, and is a substantially different method, applied to an' altogether difi erent object, and does not accomplish the objects aimed at in my invention, which provides a more compact, and out of the way mechanism, capable of a greater variety of changes in signals, at pleasure, and without taking up closer operated thereby in combination with an electric bell and circuit, and such I do not broadly claim.

My invention resides particumrly in the specific circuit closer set forth, located and operable at one side of a projection from the box lid out of the Way in a mail box, and improved means for varying signals on a call-bell electrically connected, at pleasure, for distinctive signaling, and for utilizing a hinge of the box lid as a part of the circuit, and for closing the circuit on the outside of the box over the top thereof, for the convenient use of the entire mail box without obstruction by the electrical apparatus.

Having thus fully described my invention, what I claim as new is 1. The combination with a mail box having a hinged lid, a marginal extension at one end of said lid, a metallic plate set on the inner surface of said marginal extension with its apex adjacent the lace of hinging of said lid, a plurality of gers extending fiatwise radially from said plate in a direction away from said apex, adapted to pass vertically close to the outside of said box When said lid is moved up 'and down, and a resilient member secured to the inner surface of said box so that its free end will engage said fingers transversely, successively, by the movement of said lid, substantially as set forth.

2. In a device of the character described, the combination with a mail-box having a hinged lid, a marginal projection on the end of said lid, adapted to rock up and down overthe outside ofthe box, a metallic plate secured detachablyiflatwise upon the inner surface of said marginal projection, a plurality of fingers radiating flatwise from said plate on saidi projection, and a resilient rod adapted-to intermittently engage said fingers transversely on the outside of said box, substantially as set forth.

In witness whereof, I hereunto set my hand this 1st day of Aug. 1914.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5440294 *May 20, 1993Aug 8, 1995Mercier; Ellen L.Mail delivery signal system
U.S. Classification200/61.63, 340/549, 340/517, 340/535, 340/569, 232/36
Cooperative ClassificationA47G29/1225