US 1894427 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 17, 1933. D. RYAN ENVELOPE MOISTENER Filed April 5o. 195o 4 sheets-sheet 1 o o O* m C E: N
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Jan. 17, 1933. c. D. RYAN 1,894,427
ENVELOPE MOISTENER Filed April 50. 1950 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 31mm for,
Commodore D, flyaw Jan. 17, 1933. c. D; RYAN .1,894,427
ENVELOPE MOISTENERl Filed April 50. 1930 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 B+W F. 6.
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c. D. RYAN ENVELOPE MoI'sTENER Filed April 30. 195C 4 SheeS-Sheel 4 fI/EALIIIII h. 144K gw@ .E f
Patented Jan. 1'7, 1933 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE COMMODORE D. RYAN, OF LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, ASSIGNOR T0 RALPH G. WHITLOCK PATENTS, INC., OF LOS VEGAS, NEVADA, A CORPORATION 0F NEVADA ENVELOPE MoIsTENEn Application led April 30,
This invention relates to improvements in devices for mechanically moistening the aps of envelopes, and is particularly adapted for use inconnection with a postal machine such as shown and described in the pending application filed October 16, 1928, by Ralph G. Whitlock, Serial No. 312,900, and which ma- `chinesare particularly used for mailingprepaid metered mail matter. y
An object of my invention is to provide a novel moistener of simple construction, and which Will, without adjustment, automatically open flaps of envelopes of any size or shape, and at a variety of speeds, and moisten the gummed surface thereon, preparatory to sealing such iiap to the envelope body.
An object of my invention is to provide a novel envelope moistener which may be easily and quickly adjusted, so that the postal machine with which it may be associated, may be used without sealing or even opening the flaps of envelopes passing through such postal machine. p
.Another object is to provide a novel envelope moistener that is connected to a supply of water, and which, when the envelope moistening means is moved to non-sealing position, the supply of water will be automatically shut oil".
Another object is to provide a water supply for a moistener, and which container may be readily removed, refilled and replaced Without likelihood of spilling the contents thereof. l
A still further object is to provide a novel envelope moistener in which the member for moistening the gummed envelope flap is so positioned and arranged relative tothe flap and envelope body that the flap is separated from the envelope body so as to permit the moistening blade to be received between the flap and body without requiring the use of auX- iliary or additional means such as the conventional flap openers and deflectors heretofore used.
A still further object is to provide a novel envelope moistener in which the -iiuid for moistening purposes is under control of capillary attraction, thereby providing a supply 1930. Serial No. 448,567.
. at the contact surface.
A feature of this device is that the discharge of the moistening fluid is governed by the area of the surface presented to the blade and the contact of the envelope flap with the blade, thereby preventing gumming up of the blade, and better control of the delivered liquid. By controlling the moisture or fluid delivered for sealing purposes under control of capillary attraction, the use of saturated wicks or other water collecting agencies is eliminated.
Other objects, advantages and features of invention may appear from the accompanying 4 sheets of drawings, the subjoined detail description, and the appended claims.
The accompanying drawings illustrate thev y invention in a form I, at present, deem preferable.
Figure 1 is a front elevational view of the drive unit of a postal machine having my novel lenvelope moistener attached thereto, and taken on a plane indicated by line 1 1, Fig. 15. The valve easing and associated parts are shown in full elevation :for purpose of clearness. f
`Fig. 2 is a fragmental perspective view of the envelope conveyor and envelope moistener associated therewith. Parts are broken way to disclose construction otherwise hid- Fig. 3 is a view of the ymoistener valve and its support, detached from the machine. Parts are broken away to show the passage for the water supply to the blade, taken at 343 in Fig. e.
Fig. 4 is a fragmental transverse sectional View on line 4-4, Fig. 3, showing the connection for the water supply hose, a fragment of which is shown.
Fig. 5 is a perspective detail view of the Fig. 7 is a perspective detail view of the i guide plate which cooperates with the moistener blade.
Fig. 8 is a'fragmental longitudinal section view of the moistener blade.
Fig. 9 is a fragmental sectional view taken on' a plane4 indicated by line 9`--9, Fig. 6, showing the moistener blade in non-functioning position, and showing the relative position of an envelope passing through the machine.
Fig. l0 is a view similar to Fig. 9 and taken on a plane indicated byline 9-9, Fig. 6, showing the moistener blade `in functioning position and a fragment of an envelope operated upon by the moistening blade and in a position to have the gummed surface on its flap moistened.
Fig. 11 is an elevational view of the water container` detached from the machine.
Fig. 12 is a fragmental elevational view on enlarged scale, and partly in section show- Aeo ing the water container.
Fig.- 13 is a plan view of the water cup taken on a plane indicated by line 13-13, Figs. 11-12.
Fig. 14 is a. sectional view of the Water 'pipe taken on line 1.4-14, Fig.' 12.
Fig. 15 is a transverse sectional view of the drive unit of'a postal machine, showing my novel envelope moistener and associated parts connected thereto.
In the drawings I have illustrated my invention as applied to the drive unit A of a postal machine that comprises a casing 20, base member 21 and a hopper 22 ada ted to receive the envelopes to be operate upon by my novel flap moistening device.
- The envelopes placed -in hopper 22 are moved, one ata time, through the machineby means of a conveyor 23 which comprises a feed roller 24, a set of rollers or pulley wheels 25, friction and guide rollers 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30, a pulley 31 and belts 32 and 33. Belt 34 is provided as a drive belt for feed roller 24 and is so related that the speed of roller 24 is materially less than the drive for the conveyor proper for the purpose of spacing the envelopes one from the other in t eir travel through the machine. v Pulley wheels 25 are connected to provide a drive for the conveyor belt 32' and drive belt 34. Stripper means in the form of a stripper wheel 35 together with a presser foot 36 are provided to separate the envelopes as they are fed from hopper 22 to the conveyor 23 so that the envelopes are moved, one at a time, by the conveyor. A manually operated adjustment 37 is provided to adjust the stripper wheel 35 relatlve to the various thicknesses of mail matter passing through the machine.
A guide plate 38 is rockably mounted on casing 2O has a weighted rider 39. attached thereto and provides means for tensioning theenvelopes in their passage through the machine.
A slide 40 which may be set at any required point in hopper 22- angles the mail matter in hopper 22 for insuring better engagement between the presser foot 36 and feed roller 24.l
.conveyor 23 that it will intercept or interpose itself between the flap and body of an envelope as such envelope is moved past the moistener 41. Means are provided to supply water to the moistener 41 and com rises a glass tank 42 containing a stopper all 43, (see Fig. 12). Tank 42 is screw threaded into a cup section 44 which sets on a water cap 45 that is provided with a projection or pin 46 which extends through a discharge or outlet opening 47 in cap 44 and is disposed vto contact the ball 43 when tank 42 is positioned on cup 45 and open the outlet 47 so that water may iow from tank 42 into water cup 45 which is provided with a small vent a above the normal water level in cup 45 to prevent a vacuum. Water flows from cup 45 through outlet 48 into a rubber tube 49, one end of which is fastened to a reduced portion b on threaded' neck c that extends from cup 45 and through which outlet 48 extends.
A supporting arm 50 formed as an L- shaped member open lon its lower limb as at d (Fig. 11) 'and preferably tubular on its upright limb, removably supports water cup 45 which is adjustable relative thereto by means of an elevating nut 51 threaded upon neck c whereby the height of the water cup 45 may be varied to change the water pressure. .I set screw 52 threaded into arm 5() and extending into a slot 53 formed in neck c locks water cup 45 in adjusted position to prevent accidental removal therefrom and avoids u.damage to the threads on neck c'. The arm 50 is secured by suitable means as flanges e and screws f to a portion of the front casing 20 of the postal machine. The arm 50 protects tube 49 and the open sided lower limb provides for easy replacement of tube 49 in arm 50. The other end of tube 49 is connected to a coupling 54 that extends from valve casing 55 which is provided with a passage 56 that extends through casing 55 to valve chamber 57 in which a valve 58 operates to open and close communication of passage' 56 with opening 59 that is continued through valve stem 60 to provide a water feed 61 lconnecting with openin 62 extending through tube 63 that discharges into the elevated end of chamber 64 formed in a. flat tube-blade 65 secured in any suitable manner as by a press fit in stem 60. The blade 65 is provided with an elongated discharge slot 66 of such predetermined dimension sufficient to provide a capillary opening for opening 66 which will retain the water in chamber 64 by the capillary attraction of the slot opening and allow only a flow therethrough when the exterior surface of tube 65 at slot 66 is contacted by an object being wiped thereacross such as the gummed surface of the flap of an envelope whereupon water is drawn from chamber 64 to moisten such gummed surface.
. Tube 65 is provided with a thin blade like edge 67 on the side which first contacts the oncoming envelopes to provide for easy insertion between the'flap and body of the envelope, and said tube 65 is preferably goldplated on both inside andoutside so as to provide more perfect operation of the capil` lary action of slot 66.
A guide plate 68 is provided to aid in positioning the envelope so that the blade 67 may be easily inserted between the flap and the body of an envelope. Certain irregularities in contour are provided on plate 68 to apply pressure at the proper polnts on the flap and body of the envelope to cause it to curve or bend in such manner as to present' the gummed surface of the flap to the moistener blade 65 .in an even surface so that the gummed portion may be evenly and completely moistened.
The blade 67 as shown in Fig. 9 is turned to inoperative position by `rotation of the valve 58 in valve casing 55 and in this pos1- tion the opening 59 is moved out of alinement with passage 56 so as `to cut off the supply of water from tank 42 to the water feed In non-operative position blade 65 is positloned in recess 69 formed in plate 68. The convex portion 70 of plate 68 acts as a support f or the envelope E as it approaches the flap moistening position as well as acting .as a positioner to place the envelope flap 1n a plane where it will be deflected by the blade 6.5 when said blade is turned to moistening posltion. See Fig. 10. f`
A section 71 in plate 68 opposite portion 70 on the other side of recess 69 provides a flap closing section to cause the deflected and moistened flap to be pressed against the envelope body. Plate 68 is cut out or slotted as at 72 to receive the upper and lower rollers 27, 28 that contact and grip the envelope. One of the lower rollers 28 is provided with a bevel face 73 on which rides belt 32 to guide the envelopes passing through the machine in a direction toward the casing 20 so that the flap of the envelopes may be properly positioned relative to the free end of blade 67 and so as to be engaged by said blade so that the gummed surface of the flap will be properly and fully moistened. l
Valve 58 is provided with va handle 74 for easy rotation or oscillation of said valve and a pin 75 operating in a slot or recess 76 in casing limits the rotational movement of valve 58 and provides stop means to properly position blade 65 in operative position and A drip trough 77 secured to flange 78 of casing 20 by screw 79 threaded into threaded recess 80 formed in support shank 81 provides means for catching an?7 water that may drip` from the moistener b de into recess 69 that is closed as at one end 82 and open at its other end 83. Trough 77 is positioned so as to receive any drip water flowing from the open end 83 of recess 69 and a receptacle 84 is provided to collect water so drained from trough 77. Receptacle 84 is inserted through the base member 85 of casing 20 and an arm 86 pivot-ed as at -87 by a spring tensioned pintle 88 provides means for easily removing and replacing receptacle in position.l
Plate 68 is provided with supporting means in the form of forked members 89, 90, 91, 92 and 93 that straddle bolts 94 and 95. Bolts 94 are threaded into a bar 96, so as to maintain plate 68 in proper position.
In operation of the postal machine when it is desired to seal mail matter as well as print indicia thereon, the handle 74 is turned so that blade 65 is in the position shown in Fig. 10, mail matter consisting of envelopes may be placedin hopper 22 with the flaps down and the postal machine is started. It being understood that a sufficient supply of water is in tank 42 and the passage 56 1n communication with water feed 61. The stripper elements 35, 36 will function to permit such envelopes to feed singly to the conveyor means, which will forward the envelopessuccessive- .ly to the moistening device with the flaps downward. One corner of the envelope body will engage the blade 65 and as the conveyor moves the envelope toward the moistening device, the body of the envelope will gradually rise on the inclined blade 65 so as to partially separate the flap from the body, so that the bladelike edge 67 will enter the space between the fiap and the body to separate the flap therefrom and cause such flap, as it is moved forwardly by the conveyor to be wiped on the underside of blade 65, and as such flap is moved across the blade 65, the gummed surface thereof will be moistened1 by water dispensed from slot 66. In this connection, water flows from tank 42 through tube 49 passage 56 intowater feed 61 through tube 63 and discharges into the elevated end of chamber 64 formed in blade 65, and which chamber is substantially filledv with water from tank 42and is held therein by reason of the capillary attraction of slot 66 from which it lis dispensed as hereinbefore referred to by wiping contact of the flap across opening or slotl 66. In the event the water feed is not sufficient to fill chamber 64, an even supply of water throughout the entire length of slot 66 is nevertheless obtained by reason of the fact that the moistener is positionedon an incline with the free end of blade 67 as the high i printing purposes, without however separating the flaps of the envelopes from the body thereof for moistening or other purposes, the handle 7 4 is turned to the'left .toits limit of rotational movementrand the blade 65 is then .positioned as shown in Fig. 9. The valve stem 60 is shown in Fig. 6 as being bent at 97, so that when valve stem 60 is rotated, the
` blade 65 is oscillated-with an eccentric movement, thus accentuating the oscillating movement of blade 65 to entirely move the blade from the path of mail matter conveyed `through the postal machine by the conveyor means. In this position, the opening 59 in valve stemv 60 is moved out of communication with passage 56, thereby shutting ofi' the supply of water to chamber 64 from the supply 42. When it is desired to again use the moistening device, the handle 4 is moved in a clockwlse dlrection until its movement 1s arrested by pin 75 and the moistener is then ready for use with the water supply automatically connected to chamber 64.
From the foregoing construction, I find that in operation, only the gummed surface of the flap will be moistened as it passes over the slot 66, becausethe affinity ofthe gummed surface for water is greater than the ailinity of paper for water, thereby leaving the segment between the ends of the gummed surl face., and the highest point of its arc dry.
To'regulate the amount of water applied to the gummed surface, the water tank 42 may be elevated or lowered, and in this respect it has been, found that the least change of pressure of the water flow will determine the flow of water applied to the gummed surface after the capillary seal of chamber 64 `is broken by contact of the venvelope flap therewith.
Itfis understood that the moistening device and means for controlling the operations thereof, as well as the means for controlling the water supply, may be varied in form without departing fromA the spirit of my invention:
1. In a'postal machine the combination of a conveyor, a stripper, a moistening device comprising a blade; a guide plate disposed across said conveyor to act upon envelopes carried by said conveyor to position the flaps of said envelopes to contact the said blade and comprising a convex portion for positioning said flap, a concave portion for receiving said blade in inoperative position, and a drain section; means to position a flap to be moistened by said moistener while being conveyed by said conveyor; means'whereby said envelope will engage said blade and moisten the envelope flap while being conveyed by said conveyor; and means to control the position of the moistening section of said moistener and control the supply of water to said moistener.
2. In a'postal machine, a moistener comprising a blade, having a slot, a conveyor for passing mail matter to and past said moistener, a stripper for feeding mail matter singly to said conveyor, a water feed system for said blade comprising a vertically adjustable water container, a flexible hose, a feed pipe connected thereto and residing within said moistener, said blade and water feed section of said moistener being rotatable, a guide vided with shaped portions .for contact- -ing the mail matter and guiding and positioning an envelope so that the flap will be contacted by the blade of said moistene'r and will be pressed against the under side of said blade to contact the edges of said slot in said blade to supply water to moisten the gummed area of said envelope iiap; means tov control the supply of water to said blade; means to control the pressure of water being fed to said blade; means to control the operation of said blade, and means for moistening the gummed area of envelope flaps being passed through the machine.
3. In a postal machine, a conveyor adapted to move mail matter having liaps and device comprising a blade; means to move said blade above and' below the level of said con- .f
veyor to open the flaps of said mail matter when said blade is moved above -said conveyor and not to operate upon said mail matter when moved below said conveyor; there being an elongate slot in the underside of said blade; and` means adapted to supply water to said slot.
4. In a postal machine, a conveyor adapted to move mail matter; a moistening device comprising a blade mounted below said conveyor and adapted to be moved so that in one position one end of said blade is above said conveyor and in another position said blade is below said conveyor, there being an elongate slot in said blade; means to deliver a supply of moistening fluid to one end of said slot; and means to guide portions of said mail matter moved by said conveyor across said slot for moistening purposes when said blade is above said conveyor.
5. In a postal machine, a conveyor adapted to move mail matter delivered thereto; a moistening device comprising a hollow blade inclined upwardly having a deliitery slot; a supply of moistening fluid; a tube mounted inv said blade and connected to said supply and adapted to deliver moistening fluid to the upper end of said slot; means for controlling the pressure of the fluid dehvered to said slot; and means to move said blade to nonunctioning position and automatically cut of the supply of fluid to said slot.
6. In a postal machine, a conveyor adapted to move mail matter delivered thereto, a moistening device comprisin a blade mounted below the operatin sur ace of said conveyor and adapted to e moved to partially extend above said o erating surface in one position; said blade aving a dehve ope ing adapted to retain moistening ui by capillary attraction; means to deliver moistening fluid to said opening; a guide late having a recess adapted to receive said b ade, and having ortions on each` side of said recess adapte to position envelo ilaps as they are operated upon by said b ade; and a drip trough. adapted to receive and convey moisture from said recess.
7. In a postal machine, the combination of: a conveyer adapted to move mail matter along a given path; a moistener arm mounted below said path and adapted to extend upwardly thereinto so as to engage envelope flaps,
` separate these from the envelope and moisten a gummed surface thereon; and means for rotatably mounting said arm on an axis diverging at a relatively small an le from the axis of the arm to permit sai arm to .swung downwardly by rotation of sald mounting means to brin said arm into an inoperative position relative to said path.l
8. A combination as in claim 7 havin a plate with a conc ve portion disposed neath said arm to provide a drip pan and a convex, portion disposed closely in advance of said arm to guide envelopes carried by said conveyer so that said arm may readily separate the flaps from the envelopes.
9. A combination as in claim 7 in which valved means for supplying said arm with moistening liquid lare embodied with said arm mounting means so that when said arm is turned to inoperative position the supply of moistenin liquid will be shut oii.
1.0. A com ination as in claim 7 in which e valved means for supplying said arm with moistening liquid are embodied with said e so that said arm may readily separate the flaps from the envelopes.
11. In a postal machine, the .combination of: a conveyer adapted to move mail matter moisten a gummed surfacev thereon; guide means including a convex member disposed closely in advance of said arm for directing said envelopes upwardly lthereover with the flaps disposed downwardly; and a iexible guide member disposed immediately above said moistener arm and deflectin envelopes downwardly so as to-buckle the ap thereof and assuring entrance of the moistening arm between the envelope and the ilap.
12. In a postal machine, the combination of: a conveyer adapted -to move mail matter along a given path; a moistener arm mounted below said. path and adapted to extend upwai-dlythereinto so as to vengage envelope iaps, separate these from the envelope and moisten a gummed surface thereon; guide means including a convex member disposed closely in advance of said arm -for directing said envelopes upwardly thereover with the flaps disposed downwardly; a flexible guide member disposed immediately above vsaid moistener arm and deflecting envelopes downwardly so as to buckle the iiap thereof and assuring entrance of the moistener arm between the envelope and the lap and mounting means for said arm by which said arm is adapted to be rotated about an axis which diverges slightly from the longitudi' nal axis of said arm to permit said arm to be swung downwardly out of the aforesaid path.
13. A combination as in claim 7 in which said moistener arm is provided with a longitudinal slot along a lower edge thereof 'for dispensingmoistening fluid; and a relatively sharp 'flap separating edge extending from the tip of'the arm along practically all of the iap contacting portion thereof.-
14. A combination as in claim 11 in which said moistener arm is provided with a lon tudinal slot along a lower edge thereof or dispensing moistening iuid; and a relatively shar 4flap separating edge extendin from the tip of the arm along practically al of the flap contacting portion thereof. l
In testimony whereo:f,-I have hereunto set my hand, atV Los Angeles, California, this 25th day of April, 1930.
COMMODORE D. RYAN.
-tion disposed closely in a vance of said arm to guide envelopes carrie .by said conveyer along a given path; a moistener arm mounted below said path and adapted to extend upwardly'thereinto so as to engage envelope liaps, separate these from the envelope and