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Publication numberUS1729521 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1929
Filing dateAug 28, 1928
Priority dateAug 28, 1928
Publication numberUS 1729521 A, US 1729521A, US-A-1729521, US1729521 A, US1729521A
InventorsEdward P Roddy
Original AssigneeEdward P Roddy
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic positioning device for canceling postage stamps on mail
US 1729521 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

E. P. RODDY 1,729,521

AUTOMATIC POSITIONING DEVICE FOR CANCELTNG POSTAGE STAMPS ON MAIL Sept. 24, 1929.

1928 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 29

NVENTOR. Edura/Idffoy ATTORNEY 'd Sept. 24, 1929. E, P, RODDY 1,729,521

AUTOMATIC POSITIONING DEVICE FOR CANCELING POSTAGE STAMPS ON MAIL 'H BY (1 TTORNEY Sept. 24, 1929. E p RODDY 1,729,521

AUTOMATIC POSITIONING DEVICE FOR CANCELING POSTAGE STAMPS ON MAIL Filed Aug. 28, 1928 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 e gw IIIIII IN VEN TO R. Eawmmfeoaay 1g Q ATTORNEY Patented Sept. 24, 1929 AUNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE AUTOMATIC POSITIONING pEvIGE TOR CANCELING POSTAGE STAMPS ON MAIL Application led August 28, 1928. Serial No. 302,482.

This invention relates generally to the art of the concelation of postage stamps on mail, and has more particular reference to ,a novel automatic positioning device arranged for assorting letters according to the position ofthe stamps thereon.

The invention has for an object the provision of a device of the class mentioned, which is of simple durable construction, de-

sirable and eiiicient in action and which can be manufactured and sold at a reasonable cost.

When mail matter (letters first class) reaches the post ofce each piece must be picked up individually and the position of the stamp noted so all the letters may be faced, that is, they must be stacked with the stamps all in one corner and the addresses facing up so the distributors may be able to handle them and als'o' so the canceling machine may cancel the stamps. With the device I have in mind the picking up of each individual piece of mail would be eliminated and in its place the operator of the device would take the letters and straighten them up much the same as a deck of playing cards are handled after they have been gathered up from the table. This stack of letters (straightened up but not faced) would be run through the instant device and color sensitive photo electric cells would detect the corners of letters where stamps are located.

Preferably the device should be arranged for passing letters therethru in vertical positions, though this should not be construed as a limitation. A modified form of the device has been described for showing that the letters may also be handled in horizontal positions.'

ganization is such that when a letter in vertical position is passing therethru and this letter is facing one way and is right side up with the stamp at the top, then one photo electric cell in a unit :#:1 would receive the energy from light reflected from the red stamp and automatically momentarily open a door to a compartment :#:1 for causing the letter to enter this compartment. If the letter was facing in the same direction but In the preferred form of the device the orup-side-down with the stamp therefor at the bottom and opposite end, then the photo electric cell in unit #l would not receive any energy and the letter would pass on to unit #2 and a second photo electric cell 1s ar- 55 ranged for directing the letter to enter this uni A third unit should similarly be arranged for receiving letters facing the other way and right side up. A fourthfunit should be similarly arranged for receiving letters facing in the second mentioned direction but up-sidedown, and a fifth unit should be arranged for receiving letters having other than red postage stamps, and letters with stamps improperly placed.

In the modified form, if a letter was facing downwards with its stamp in upper right hand corner then one photo electric cell in unit #l would receive the energy from light reflected from the red stampy and automatically open a door to a compartment #1. After the letter enters this compartment the door will close. If a letter was facing downwards and has its stamp on its lower right hand corner (letter upside-down) then the photo electric cell in unit #l would not receive any energy and the letter would pass on to unit #2 and asecond photo electric cell'is arranged for directing the letter to enter this unit.

A third unit should be similarlyarranged for receiving letters facing upwards and with stamps in an upper right handcorner. A fourth unit should besimilarly arranged for 85 receiving letters facing upwards with stamps on a lower left hand corner, and a fifth unit should be arranged for receiving letters having other than red postage stamps, and letters with stamps improperly placed. For further comprehension ofthe invention, and Of the objects and advantages thereof, reference will be had to the following description and accompanying drawings, and to the appended claims in which the various novel features of the invention are more particularly'set forth.

, In the accompanying drawing, forming a material part of this disclosure g l.so

Fig. 1 is a sectional plan view of a device constructed according to this invention.

Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view thereof, taken on the line 2--2 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view of one end of the device.

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary view of a portion of Fig. 1, but showing the door ofone unit open.

7 0 within a casing 7 0. The said springs urge outwards istons 7 Ob connected by a rod 70c with the oor. A spring actuated catch 70d normally holds the piston with the door 65 open and when a letter is completely within the compartment it abuts lever 7 Oe connected to move tlie catch and allow the spring 70 to close the door. Electromagnets 71 are con- Fig.5isaschematic wiring diagram of one 'nected with the various cell units'and arunit.

Fig. 6 is a plan view of a device constructed according to a modified form of the invention.

Fig. 7 is a longitudinal central vertical sectional view thereof. Fig. 8 is a side ,elevational view thereof. Fig. 9 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view, takenon the`\line`99 of Fig. 8.

Fig. 10 isv an enlarged detail view of a portion of the device asseen in 7.

Fig. 11 is a schematic wiring iagram of oneK of the units of the device.

e {The reference numeral indicates generally a' base supporting a casing/5,1 having a cover 52, and containing oil 53. Ait/letter rest member 54 is secured on the casiifig and extends its full length. A worm 55 is rotatively mounted witliin the casing and extends its full length and is fixed on a shaft 56 provided with a sprocket wheel 57 connected by chain 58 to a pinion 59 onl the shaft of a motor 60 secured on the base 50. A plurality of vertical shafts 61 are rotatively'mounted in the casing 51', and are positioned on opposite sides of the` letter rest member 54 and extend out of the casing thru the cover 52.

The vertical shafts 61 have top sections 61 connected by universal joints 62. Spring v63 vurges the sections 61 towards the. letter rest member 54, and rollers 64 are fixed on the shafts in pairs so as to be urged together by the actions of the spring 63. There are certain single rollers 64 which are urged against idlerscG-lP/on doors 65 having wedge shaped front ends and hingedly mounted at their rear ends as at 66.

A cell unit 67 has a detecting cell 27 directed for detecting stamps in one of the before mentioned positions, cell unit 67 has a detecting cell directed for detecting stamps at another of the before mentioned positions,

j cell unit 67 has a cell directed for detecting stamps at a third 'position as before men- 'tioned, and unit 67b has a cell directed for cletecting stamps at a fourth position as before mentioned.

" A letter chamber 68 is arranged for receiving letters as determined by cell unit 67 and a second chamber 68', a third 68a and a fourth 681 are arranged for receiving letters as determined'by cell units 67, 67 and 67h respectively. A fifth chamber 69 is arranged for receiving all letters which pass the said four chambers. The said four chambers are provided with the doors and these doors are normally held in closed positions by springs ranged for opening the doors upon being operated.

.Each of the letter chambers is provided with a bar 72 extending to the rear of the chamber on which a slide 73 is mounted for moving rearwards as letters enter the chamber. Rollers 74 are arranged for forcing letters entering the chambers against the slides 73. As shown in Fig. 5 the photo electric cell of each unit is individually connected in a circuit with a transformer 75 and a relay 76 arranged for controlling a circuit containing the electromagnet 71.

In operation of the device, motor 60 drives Worm 55 which drives all the rollers 64. Letters to be arranged are individually fed by a feeding device 6()a into the device between the rollers 64 at the motor end of the device. A s the letters pass the first cell unit 67, a trip 30 of the unit hereinafter more fully described is engaged for operating the unit. If the stamp is detected by this unit the electromagnet 71 will be energized for opening the door 65 toa position as shown in Fig. 4 so'that the letter enters chamber 68. yIf a kstamp is not detected the letter passes on to unit-67.' If none of the units detect the stampsl the letters pass into the fifth chamber 69. y

Itis pointed out that the trips 30 of units 67 and 67a should be arranged for operating the units the instant a letter strikes the trips, and the trips of units 67 and'67b should be arranged for operating theunits the'instant a lett-er leaves the trips.

The functioning of the cell units may be understood by the detail description hereinafter given in the description of the modified form of the device, and a more detailed operation may also be gathered by the description of the modified form.

On the modified form the reference numeral l0 indicates generally a box-like body having an open top. At one end this body has partitions 11 forming a holding chamber for a pile of letters straigtened out but not faced. Numeral 12 indicates these letters, and a door 13 is formed in the side of the bodv in line with a dooi 13 formed in the side o'f the first mentioned letter chamber for permitting the insertion of letters into the chambei. A block 14 is urged upwards bv springs 15 for feeding the letters 12 upwards. Stop' bars 16 are horizontally extended from the top edge of the body directly over the letters 12 holding the letters against further upward motion.

A shaft 17 is rotatively supported on the body 1Q and has a driver wheel 18 on its outer end and on its other end a cam wheel 19 arranged for periodically moving the topmost letter 12 forward between the rollers 20 and the rollers 21, the rollers 20 being provided with driver wheels 20 and rollers 21 with driver wheels 21. The photo electric cell device 23 is formed with an opening indicated by numeral 24 arranged for receivlng the reection of a red postage stamp on the llpper right hand corner of the envelope.

The cell device 23 consists of a lamp 25 showing thru a red lense 26 thru the opening 24 upon which photo electric cell 27 is directed interposed by a shutter structure 28 operable rapidly by opening and'closing, by levers 29 and 30 when lever 30 is initially moved by the 47 said letter engaging against its lower end. The cell 27 is in a circuit including the primary 31 of a transformer whose secondary connects with an electromagnet 32 for operating a relay 33 controlling a second circuit having solenoids 34 and 35.

The solenoid 34 connects with a lever 36 arranged for withdrawing a slide 37 very rapidly and then slowly returning the slide against the action of dash pot 38. In position the slide closes a letter chamber 39 provided with a block 40 arranged for descending. The solenoid 35 connects with a holdingl rod 41 for momentarily removing the rod to allow the block 40 to slightly descend. 'A

Vspring 42 rests on the slide 37 for directing a passing letter downwards into the chamber 39 when the slide is drawn out. The slide 37 is made of separate sections arranged for moving in opposite directions. The solenoid 34 is connected to the second of the said sections by a rod 43 and another rod 44.

It is pointed out that if the letter being passed forward by the roller 22 has its stamp (red) at its upper right hand corner and facing upwards the cell 27 will change its electrical resistance for operating the solenoids 34 and 35 for withdrawing the slide 37 and very slightly lowering the block 40.v Then spring 42 directs the letter into letter chamber 39 and upon the block 40 which, descends as the letters are stacked one upon the other. But if the stamp is not at the place mentioned the cell 27 remains unaffected and rollers 20 and 21 pass the letter on to the next photo electric cell device 23 which has its opening as indicated by numeral 24 for permitting the detection of stamps at the lower left hand corners of letters facing upwards, and these letters will be passed into the letter chamber 39.

If the stamps are not at either of the posltions just mentioned the letters will be passed forward by the rollers 20 and 21 for detection by the photo electric device 23a having an opening 24a stamps on the upper right hand corner of envelopes turned up-side-down.

If the stamps are not positioned at the three places thus far covered, the letters will be passed forward-by the rollers 2O and 21 for detection by the photo electric cell device 23b having an opening 24b arranged for aligning w1th stamps on the lower left hand corner of letters turned up-side-down.

A receiving chamber 39a is arranged for receiving letters as detected by the photo cell device 23a, and another receiving chamber 39 1s arranged for receiving letters as detected by the photo cell device 23". If the letters do not fall into any of the four receiving chambers mentioned, they will enter a miscellaneous receiving chamber 46. The various receiving chambers are accessible thru doors The operator of the machine feeds piles of unassorted letters into the chamber 12, and removes piles of assorted letters from the chambers 39, 39', 39a and 39b and a small group of unassorted miscellaneous letters from the chamber 46. It is pointed out that the descending blocks 40 should descend at a rate so that the top letters of the piles of letters on t-he blocks, should be but a small distance from incoming letters upon the piles so as not to permit turning during falling of the letters upon the piles.

The great majority of letters bear red two cent stamps and for this reason red filters 26 are employed in the machine. l

While I have shown and described the preferred embodiment of my invention, it is to be understood that I do'not limit myself to the precise construction herein disclosed and the right is reserved to all changes and modiiications coming within the scope of the invention as delined in the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by United States Letters Patent is:

1. A device of the class described, comprising a plurality of letter receiving chambers arranged for storing letters in positions as received, a plurality of photo electric cells arranged for detecting the positions of the lstamps on the letters, and means for directing the letters into the said chambers according to detected positions.

2. A device of the class described, com--` prising a plurality of letter receiving chamers arranged for storing letters in positions as received, a plurality of photo electric cells arranged for detecting the positions oftheV stamps on the letters, and means for directing the letter into the said chambers according to detected positions so that each cham` ber receives and holds letters in assorted positions, and a miscellaneous chamber for receiving letters not intended to be assorted.

3. A devlce of the class described, comarranged for aligning with' prising a plurality of letter receiving chambers arranged for storing letters in positions as received, a plurality of photo electric. cells arranged for detecting the positions of the stamps on the letters, and means for directing the letter into the said chambers, according to detected positions so that each chamber receives and holds letters in assorted positions, and a miscellaneous chamber for receiving letters not intended to be assorted,

and a system of rollers used to advance the letters.

4. A device of the class described, comprising a plurality of letter receiving chambers arranged for storino letters in positions as received, supporting tblocks arranged for moving as letters enter the chambers, a plurality of photo electric cells arranged for detecting the positions of the stamps on t-he letters, and means for directing the letters into the said chambers according to detected positions.

5. A device ofthe class described, comprising a plurality of letter receiving chambers arranged for storing letters in positions as received, a plurality of photo electric cells arranged for detecting the positions of the stamps on the letters, and means for directing the letters into the said chambers according to detected positions, including doors for the chambers.

In testimony whereof I have ailixed my signature.

EDWARD P. RODDY.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2719629 *Sep 1, 1951Oct 4, 1955Roy O RobinsonMail sorting and cancelling means
US2894626 *Apr 12, 1956Jul 14, 1959Nederlanden StaatPacket position detecting system
US2936886 *Oct 5, 1954May 17, 1960Reed Res IncStamp sensing letter sorter
US2966594 *Jan 29, 1959Dec 27, 1960Int Standard Electric CorpArrangement for detecting characteristic markings on articles
US2976803 *Jan 15, 1957Mar 28, 1961Andriessen Tech NvArticle marking and orienting machine
US2982407 *Dec 30, 1954May 2, 1961Reed Res IncArticle handling and sorting apparatus
US2988984 *Jan 24, 1957Jun 20, 1961Pitney Bowes IncArticle marking and orienting
US2991369 *May 14, 1957Jul 4, 1961Int Standard Electric CorpApparatus for determining the position of printed items
US2993596 *Jun 5, 1957Jul 25, 1961Int Standard Electric CorpSorting arrangement
US2999166 *Aug 27, 1957Sep 5, 1961Int Standard Electric CorpMethod of mechanically detecting a mark affixed to a document
US3012667 *Feb 5, 1957Dec 12, 1961Sperry Rand CorpDocument sensing method and system utilizing infra-red stimulated phosphors
US3029944 *Oct 17, 1958Apr 17, 1962Int Standard Electric CorpSorting equipment
US3035694 *Apr 4, 1958May 22, 1962Int Standard Electric CorpArticle sorting control apparatus
US3038607 *Jun 20, 1958Jun 12, 1962Pitney Bowes IncArticle marking and orienting
US3065850 *Aug 29, 1958Nov 27, 1962Billie B NixonAutomatic mail facing and sorting machine
US3081403 *Jan 11, 1960Mar 12, 1963Cullinan Edwin SMethod and apparatus for scanning and analyzing material
US3488511 *Oct 19, 1967Jan 6, 1970Tokyo Shibaura Electric CoAutomatic identifying apparatus of postage stamp indications
US4326636 *Mar 19, 1980Apr 27, 1982Laurel Bank Machine Co., Ltd.Apparatus for processing sheets
DE1103056B *May 24, 1956Mar 23, 1961Standard Elektrik Lorenz AgVerfahren zur Feststellung der Lage eines Schriftstueckes hinsichtlich eines auf ihm befindlichen Kennzeichens
DE1110455B *Jul 7, 1956Jul 6, 1961Standard Elektrik Lorenz AgEinrichtung zur Feststellung der Lage eines Schriftstueckes hinsichtlich eines auf ihm befindlichen Kennzeichens
DE1203994B *Jan 12, 1956Oct 28, 1965Standard Elektrik Lorenz AgAnordnung zum Feststellen von auf ebenen Gegenstaenden aufgebrachten Marken
Classifications
U.S. Classification209/580, 209/900, 250/223.00R, 209/941, 209/587
International ClassificationB07C3/14
Cooperative ClassificationB07C3/14, Y10S209/90, Y10S209/941
European ClassificationB07C3/14