CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
Many patented inventions, such as the following inserts and trays, have addressed various aspects of delivery letter boxes: easier delivery to; easier retrieval from; rain hoods during delivery; letter retainers; interior rubber jackets; and security devices. Many of these patented inventions point out the problem of moisture/water damage that is common to many such boxes and some have added the benefit of grooves to the inserts and trays that are actually designed for another objective, but none have directly and singularly addressed the problem of standing water within patron letter boxes/compartments:
- U.S. Pat. No. 4,714,192 slidable tray
- U.S. Pat. No. 4,753,385 extendable tray
- U.S. Pat. No. 4,896,827 sliding tray
- U.S. Pat. No. 5,271,555 rolling tray
- U.S. Pat. No. 5,425,501 sliding tray
- U.S. Pat. No. 5,775,578 slidable tray
One device, reference U.S. Pat. No. 4,863,096, addresses the water and weather problem but it is designed for and made to fit “blue” boxes, which are large bulk collection mail boxes installed and owned by the U.S. Postal Service, and it is not designed for letter delivery box/compartments of individual patrons.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
My invention does address the water and weather problem that is common to many letter delivery boxes/compartments of individual persons. With the creation of the adjustable Melevator floor and with it being availability to the public at large, the state of many such boxes/compartments can be improved.
Water and moisture can enter letter delivery and cluster boxes by many ways. For instance: rain can drip in and around screw holes; rain can be blown in around bent, warped, ill-fitting, and non-insulated doors; rain can enter into and then drip from letter pick-up slots; water sprinklers can spray water in and around both front and back doors; auto traffic can send sprays of road-water over and under letter boxes.
While some of these problems can be solved by replacing, repairing, or moving such letter boxes, there are many occasions when none of these solutions are readily reached. Furthermore, it is not the infiltrating sprinkle, mist, or droplet form of water that causes most of the damage to paper articles, but rather standing pools of water.
Water will, by nature of surface tension, cling, bead up and stand in pools. While a grooved surface will limit the volume of standing water, drainage is not always the result and absorbent material, such as paper, will draw the moisture into its fibers, thus it is preferable to have a device that will elevate the material above the floor surface to allow clear drainage paths and to allow ventilation for the evaporation of water that doesn't drain. It is also desirable and beneficial for such a device to be: easily installed; durable and sturdy; unobtrusive as to limit space; easily labeled; relatively inexpensive; readily available to the public; and adaptable/adjustable in size.
While basic dimensions for letter boxes are recommended by the USPS, letter delivery boxes are actually manufactured in numerous delivery point sizes, both as a single-delivery unit and as a multiple-delivery unit. The most often decrease in variance from the recommended size of the actual space within a delivery letter box/compartment is often more dramatic in the depth or length of the delivery box. The most often increase in variance from the recommended size of the of the actual space within a given letter delivery box/compartment is more often in the width of the delivery box.
- BRIEF SUMMERY OF THE INVENTION
This background describes circumstances that can be improved upon by creating a device that will address the circumstances as set forth, as does my adjustable Melevator floor.
The adjustable Melevator floor is a three-part device that can be adjusted to a range of lengths while it remains as one unit.
This invention relates to an adjustable floor surface device, and in particular, to an adjustable floor surface device that allows ventilation between itself and the surface that it is placed on, and more particular, to an adjustable floor surface device that is sized in a basic proportional width and then having two corresponding sections that can be adjusted in several measured increments so as to elongate the device, with the purpose being the accommodation and placement, either as a single unit or multiple, within a conventional delivery letter box, in order that the letter box contents lie on the device rather than on the interior floor surface of the letter box.
It is desirable that the problem of standing water within a letter delivery box be addressed. The adjustable Melevator floor addresses the problem of standing water by providing a second floor over the interior floor of the delivery box, in order that the contents within the box rests on the Melevator floor. This second floor provides a distance of space between the said contents and the interior floor that allows pools of water to reach break-tension point and drain unimpeded and thereafter, this same distance of space allows the remaining water/moisture to evaporate by ventilation through slots and openings in the top surface and openings in both the sides and the ends of the device.
It is desirable that the variety of various letter box/compartment sizes is recognized and that a near-universal solution be met, so as to be more economical in both cost of manufacturing and sell price. The adjustable Melevator floor addresses the problem of the many sizes/dimensions of the varied types of letter boxes/compartments by meeting the minimum width required for conventional letter boxes while allowing multiple settings of sizes for length. Therefore, the adjustable Melevator floor, having parts that correspond and reciprocate, has numerous incremental size settings so as to accommodate most conventional patron letter box/compartments: city, curb, street, rural, cluster, NDCBU.
Furthermore, when two adjustable Melevator floor units are equally sized and placed side by side, they can accommodate the wider conventional letter boxes, namely; the large style of rural mailboxes and the wide CBU letter box/compartments.
This invention, having two main objectives: 1. to provide an area of space between the letter/mail contents of letter box/compartments and the interior floor surface of said box/compartments to allow water/moisture to drain and evaporate; and, 2. for the device to be adjustable and versatile so as to accommodate most conventional letter box/compartments, thus being economical both in the cost of manufacturing and in the selling price to the consumer.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
The adjustable Melevator floor meets the two main objectives of this invention and these and other aspects, objects, features, and advantages will be more clearly understood and appreciated from a review of the following detailed description of the invention and appended claims, and by reference to the accompanying drawing.
FIG. 1. is a perspective view of the adjustable Melevator floor in its fully contracted or closed state.
FIG. 2. is a perspective view of the adjustable Melevator floor in its fully expanded or fully open state, with both end sections retained at the stop-motion stop, retaining-lips of the main-section.
FIG. 3. is a larger scale perspective view of the main-section 10, minus the front-end section 20, and the rear-end section 30.
FIG. 4. is a perspective view of the rear-end section 30.
FIG. 5. is a perspective view of the front-end section 20.
FIG. 6. is cut-away top view of a right and left front corner of two Melevator units dovetailed together by circle tenon/mortise 61, 61.
FIG. 7. is a top view of two Melevator units dovetailed together for use in wider boxes/ compartments, indicating cut away area shown in FIG. 6.
FIG. 8. is a cut-away, cross-hatched sectional view of wedge tenon/mortise 71, 71, dovetailing.
FIG. 9. depicts a front elevation view of a regular size conventional city/rural, curb/road side, letter delivery box, minus its door, with a Melevator inside.
FIG. 9A. depicts a pictorial cut-out view of FIG. 9 showing a fully-extended Melevator unit.
FIG. 10. depicts a front elevation view of a large size rural mail delivery box, minus its door, with two Melevator units inside.
FIG. 10A. depicts a pictorial cut-out view of FIG. 10 showing two fully-extended Melevator units.
FIG. 11. depicts a front elevation view of a typical regular size city/street, curb/road side, letter delivery box, minus its door, with a Melevator inside.
FIG. 12. depicts a front elevation view of a wide model curb/street side delivery box, minus its door, with two Melevator units inside.
FIG. 13. depicts a pictorial cut-out view of a NDCBU compartment, which is typically smaller in length that a standard curb box, with a partially-extended Melevator inside.
FIG. 13A. depicts a front elevation view of a NDCBU, minus its doors, with a Melevator unit in the bottom-right compartment.
FIG. 14. depicts a pictorial cut-out view of a CBU compartment, which is typically smaller in length and height, but wider than a standard curb box, with a partially-extended Melevator inside.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 14A. depicts a front elevation view of a CBU, minus its doors, with two Melevator units in the bottom-right compartment.
The adjustable Melevator floor relates to the elevating of articles of mail, such as letters, newspapers, magazines, and small packets from off the interior surface floor of a letter delivery box/compartment. The adjustable Melevator floor is sized and then inserted into the letter box/compartment and rests on the interior surface floor, where it serves as a second floor for mail articles to rest on while allowing a distance of space between the floors for unimpeded water drainage and ventilation.
Reference FIGS. 1, 2. The floor device is to be constructed of molded plastic so as to be cost effective and sturdy. It has three parts or sections: main section 10; front-end section 20; rear-end section 30. Referring to FIG. 1, the device at its smallest or in a smaller size will fit most cluster boxes or NDCBU compartments. Referring to FIG. 2, the device at its largest or in a mid-size size will fit most curb delivery boxes, such as, street, city or rural.
Reference FIGS. 1, 2, 3. The main section 10 is the centerpiece of the unit. It is rectangle in shape with the width being approx. half the length. A center support-wall 11, extending from side to side, divides mirror-image end-sections 20, 30. A plural of prongs 12, extend from both sides of the center-wall 11, and rest on a half-wall 13, that also serves as a stop-motion stop/retaining lip 13, for the two end-sections. The tip ends of the prongs 14, are slightly lower in height for a short distance to allow their entrance under the label cap area 34, 24. The outermost prongs of both outer sides have a plurality of concave holes 15, spaced at intervals along their entirety. The prongs are raised, jutting out from the center support-wall 11, and span over ventilation space 16.
Reference FIGS. 2, 4. The rear-end section 30, has a partial end-wall 31, with cutout ventilation space 51, between two solid corner supports 32. It is approx. square in shape and slightly wider than the main-section 10. A plural of prongs 33, extend out from one side of the end-wall 31, and out from underneath a label cap area 34. These prongs 33, are raised, providing ventilation space 52, and rest on support legs 35, with the outermost prongs having thicker support legs 36, 38, at both ends. The outermost prong endings 36, have a plural of protuberance 37, on the inside surface of each said end-supporting prong 36. These protuberance 37, correspond with the plurality of concave holes 15, in the main-section 10. The solid portion 38, of the outermost prongs, right-angled beneath the label cap area 34, and right-angled to the end-wall 31, has a plurality of tenon/mortise 39, on the outside surface with alternating mortise/tenon 39, on the opposite outer side. The extended prongs 33, of the rear-end section 30, are inserted between the prongs 12, of the main-section 10, with the outermost prongs of the rear-end section 30, enclosing the outermost prongs of the main-section 10, and with protuberance 37, matching corresponding holes 15, the rear-end section “snaps” into place, thus becoming a movable but attached part of the unit.
Other than the alternating tenon/mortise 39, the rear-end section 30, mirror-images the front-end section 20.
Reference FIGS. 2, 5. The front-end section 20, has a partial end-wall 21, with cutout ventilation space 41, between two solid corner supports 22. It is approx. square in shape and slightly wider than the main section 10. A plural of prongs 23, extend out from one side of the end-wall 21, and out from underneath a label cap area 24. These prongs 23, are raised, providing ventilation space 42, and rest on support legs 25, with the outermost prongs having thicker support legs 26, 28, at both ends. The outermost prong endings 26, have a plural of protuberance 27, on the inside surface of each said end-supporting prong 26. These protuberance 27, correspond with the plurality of concave holes 15, in the main section 10. The solid portion 28, of the outermost prongs, right-angled beneath the label cap area 24, and right-angled to the end-wall 21, has a plurality of tenon/mortise 29, on the outside surface with alternating mortise/tenon 29, on the opposite outer side. The extended prongs 23, of the front-end section 20, are inserted between the prongs 12, of the main section 10, with the outermost prongs of the front-end section 20, enclosing the outermost prongs of the main-section 10, and with protuberance 27, matching corresponding holes 15, the front-end section “snaps” into place, thus becoming a movable but attached part of the unit.
These three parts form one adjustable device having tenon/mortise for connecting two or more units together. The dovetailing tenon/mortise can be made in several types, with circle 61, and wedge 71, depicted in FIGS. 6, 7, 8.
The adjustable Melevator floor is new in that is the only device that directly addresses an old problem of moisture within letter/mail boxes and new in that it is designed for universal use in various city, curb, street, rural, cluster, and NDCBU letter box/compartments. Reference FIG. 9-14A.
The adjustable Melevator floor is convenient and useful in that is designed to meet a specific need and it serves that need better than a cut board or slab of foam that is often utilized for the purpose.
The adjustable Melevator floor is unobtrusive to the delivery space within the box/compartments and has a label area at each end for use, both by the delivery person and by the owner.
The adjustable Melevator floor is easy to size. Each end has incremental settings and each end can be adjusted separately as needed. By measuring the depth of the box/compartment, the floor can be sized to fit and then easily installed by inserting it into the box/compartment.
While the invention has been described with particular detail and reference to its specified use and design as stated above, certain aspects of the invention are not limited to the particular details of the examples illustrated, and it is therefore contemplated that other modifications and applications will occur to those skilled in the art. For instance, while the invention can be molded of plastic, wood or metal or Styrofoam could also be used; modification as to size could be done, both in its ventilation openings or absence thereof, and in its parts size or absence thereof, and in its overall size limits as set by its designed use. There is no intention, therefore, of limitations to the exact abstract or detailed description herein presented.