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Publication numberUS1976117 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 9, 1934
Filing dateApr 20, 1931
Priority dateApr 20, 1931
Publication numberUS 1976117 A, US 1976117A, US-A-1976117, US1976117 A, US1976117A
InventorsCassel James A
Original AssigneeCassel James A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mail box and indicator
US 1976117 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Ucit. 9, 1934.


MAIL BOX AND INDICATOR Filed April 20, 1931 2 Sheets-Sheet l imml gnwwfoz James 05'. 001193125 Get. 9, 1934. A. CASSEL 1,976,117

MAIL BOX AND INDICATOR Filed April 20, 1931 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 -'-rm E o g ib; r ;,.\/\J\J-7 A 2 n 2 im 2 v I I j I l I e j m "J 2 H 2 PM l A E N 2 I U) Q- gnuanfoz 1 James e21 Cassel m A %?W7W g the box.


Application April 20, 1931, Serial No. 531,415

1 Claim.

This invention relates to mail boxes and signals operated thereby.

The objects of this invention are to provide mail box, or mail chute for receiving mail,

with visual and audible signals. to be electrically operated for disclosing to the owner thereof when mail has been deposited therein and when removed therefrom and for disclosing the kind of mail.

A further object is to provide a receiving mail box or chute to be built into the outer wall of a private residence or apartment house; the

box having an upper and lower compartment, with the name or number of the house or owner illuminated in the front of the upper compartment, and an outer door in the front of the lower compartment for receiving mail, with means operated by the door for sounding a series of alarms, the number thereof depending on the size of the mail packages.

The opening by the accompanying drawings, of


Figure 1 represents a front elevation, Figure 2 represents a rear elevation with the back covers removed. Figure 3 is a vertical section taken on lines 33 of Figure 2, Figure 4 is a vertical section taken on lines 4-4 of Figure 2, Figure 5 is a top plan in section,

a fragmentary enlarged view of a part of Figure view of the 2. And Figure 7 is a diagrammatic wiring.

Figure 6 is Like numerals on the different figures represent like parts.

Numeral 8 shows the front wall,

preferably a metal casting of the upper compartment, with a transparent plate 9 over an opening under the plate, with opaque numerals 11 thereon to indicate the street number of the house, 'or

apartment number, according to the situation of A light bulb 12 is positioned behind the numerals in a concave reflector 13, and is provided with electric circuit wires 14 and 15,

with a switch 16 for manually cutting the current on and on" as desired. The

current is taken directly from an ordinary transformer 1'7, which in turn receives a higher voltage from the ordinary house lighting wires 18 and 19.

20 represents the lower compartment of the box, or mail chute, into which the posits the mail for the box owner.

carrier de- The Wall 8 extends down over a part of the chute, and is provided with a door 21, suspended on hinges 22, preferably from the top side, to swing inward a suiiicient space for the various kinds of mail to pass, and ordinarily such space or distance varies from a slight degree for a letter to greater degree for a newspaper roll, and still greater for a Christmas package.

In order that the owner may be advised of the mail deposit, and the kind thereof, at any suitable place in the house where an alarm is most likely to be heard, I provide a signal bell 23 of the ordinary type, in such place. The bell is connected with circuit wire 24 through the transformer 17 to a terminal 26 and return wire 25 to terminal 27 in an insulated block 28. I connect these by a resilient metal strap 29, the outer end of which is affixed to the block and the lower end normally rests below the terminals. but when pressed upward it unites the two terminals and completes the electric circuit, whereby the bell is caused to ringso long as the strap remains in such raised position. In order'to raise the strap by the opening of the door, I attach thereto, in line with the hinges a lug 30, a part whereof is provided with a series of insulated actuating teeth 31, with spaces 32 between, and on a radius corresponding with the movement of the door at that point. When the door is closed the free end of the strap rests down in one of the spaces. But as the door is opened the teeth successively raise the strap and close the circuit. The bell is thus caused to ring as each tooth is rolled beneath the strap, as the door is opened or closed. The owner soon learns the usual number of rings caused by a letter and by larger package.

However as the owner may not be within hearing of the bell, or unable to hear the same for various reasons, it is important that a visual signal be combined to further indicate the deposite of mail, and to continue so to do at a distance from the box till the mail is removed. This is specially important in modern apartment buildings where the owner may reside several floors above the location of the mail box.

For this purpose I provide a signal light bulb 33, preferably colored and located in the apartment where most likely to be observed. This bulb is connected with a circuit wire through the transformer 17, to a fixed insulated contact point 35, and return Wire 36 to a movable contact point 37, so that when these contact points are brought together, an electric circuit is formed and the bulb 33 caused to shine and continues to so shine until the points are separated. The movable point 3'7 is preferably mounted by insulation on a sliding pin 38 and normally compressed apart from the point 35 by a spring 39, and pref rably mounted in the upper compartment, above the floor 40 thereof, to be free from interference or injury by the deposited mail. The outer end of the pin 38 has a bevel and in order to compress the bolt and the point 37, inward to close the circuit, I provide a perpendicular square rod 41 slidably mounted through the floor 40 and a rib 8 on the wall 8, and is normally pulled downward by a spring 42. The top of the rod is beveled, and when the rod is raised this bevel operates against the bevel on the pin, and thereby the pin is pressed inward till the point 37 contacts with the point 35, to close the circuit.

On the door lug 30 I provide a curved eccentrical bearing face 31' on which the lower end of the rod 41 freely rides when the door is opened. The inner position of this face is eccentrically formed, whereby the rod is forced to rise as the door opens, until the pin has been compressed and the circuit closed as described. The remainder of the curved face conforms to the radius of the door movement, so that the rod is not higher elevated.

In order to retain the rod in such elevated position and keep the circuit closed, a holding latch 43 is horizontally mounted with a spring 44, to normally press against the rod. The latch so slips into a notch 45, located in the side of the rod at a point opposite the latch when the bolt is fully compressed. The rod is so held in such elevated position when the front door closes, and the light si nal continued until the latch is withdrawn by the owner as follows:

On the lower portion of the mail chute I provide a door 46 for the removal of the mail. This door is preferably suspended on hinges 4'7, to swing outwardly from the chute and I attach to the inner side of the door near the top thereof the lower end of a cord or wire 48, and attach the other end of the cord to the outer end of a bell crank 49. The latter connected by a wire 50 to the outer end of the latch. The cord 47 is suitably guided over loose pulleys 51 and 52, and the latch is thereby withdrawn from the notch 45, and the circuit light so extinguished when the door 46 is opened.

In practice, the tip or extreme lower end of the strap 29 is slightly upturned, to provide a rounded bearing surface which will freely slide from the notches and pass over the teeth 31, as the door 21 is closed.

The complete box and chute are preferably built into the outer wall of a house, so that the door 21 may be opened from the outside, and the lower door 46 opened inside the house. In cases where the box is built into the walls of a hallway as in an apartment house, then the lower door may be located on the same side as the upper door 21. The box may also be conveniently used as a mount for an ordinary push button for a door bell. The bell being connected at any suitable place in the house, by circuit wires 54 and 53, one of which is suitably attached to the transformer 17 for electrical operating current to ring the bell.

I have herein described and illustrated a number of old features in combination with the new features hereinafter claimed, as it is believed that the importance and convenience of the new features may be best appreciated when assembled as herein described, particularly for mail boxes for residences and apartments. My features believed new, comprise especially the form of lug used on the door, with one side toothed for providing intermittent alarms, and the other side of the same lug made smooth for elevating a shift rod for providing a continuous light signal, the smooth side of the lug formed as a cam to provide an eccentric movement, to permit the lug to continue to open after the light has been connected by the first movement of the lug; all of my features being compactly built and arranged in the upper part of the box, and positive in operation, and simple in construction, and without complicated levers which would interfere with satisfactory use of the box for the purposes intended.

Having described my invention, I claim as new for Letters Patent:

In combination with a mail box having a door, an electric bell signal, an electric visual signal, independent circuits for the signals, energizing means for the circuits, a switch member for the circuit for the bell, a switch member for the circuit for the visual signal, and a single element carried by and movable with the door, said element formed with spaced projections to intermittently actuate the switch member for the bell circuit as the door is opened, said element being further provided with a cam surface to engage and operate the switch member for the visual signal into circuit-closing position as the door is opened, means for holding the last named switch member in circuit closing position followmg cam operation, and means for releasing the holding means at will, whereby in the opening of the door, the bell is intermittently sounded and the visual signal continuously energized.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2463957 *Feb 13, 1946Mar 8, 1949Faulkenbury Owen AElectric signaling mailbox
US2480288 *Aug 22, 1947Aug 30, 1949Michael DonadioSignal mailbox
US2921734 *Aug 10, 1956Jan 19, 1960Morris M MarksSignal systems
US3150361 *Jul 17, 1962Sep 22, 1964Nicholas ConigliaroMail indicator and door signal
US3295124 *Dec 26, 1962Dec 27, 1966Viola JacksonSafety mail box
US4520350 *Sep 20, 1982May 28, 1985Huang Henry CMail box with remote indicator
US6708876 *Jun 27, 2002Mar 23, 2004Joseph C. ShirahSolar powered lighted mailbox
US6719193 *Mar 6, 2002Apr 13, 2004Michael A. KatulkaMailbox with internal light source directing light through translucent address panels or box walls
U.S. Classification340/569, 340/3.43, 362/253, 340/815.7
International ClassificationA47G29/122, A47G29/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47G2029/1226, A47G29/1225
European ClassificationA47G29/122S