US 2499765 A
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A. H. MACLAREN LOCKING RECEPTACLE March 7, 1950 Filed Feb. 2, 1949 Patented Mar. 7, 1950 -UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE LOGKING RECEPTACLE Arthur H. Maclaren, Tewksbury, Mass. Application February 2, 1949, Serial No. 74,658
3 Claims. (Cl. 206-) This invention comprises a novel locking receptacle which may take the form of a toy safe or the like, having in its structure a combination of rotatable members telescopically related and provided with cooperating grooves and passages shaped to accommodate a single locking ball.
An important characteristic of my invention is that in all looking positions the locking ball bears simultaneously on three rotary body members of the receptacle so that it is impossible for any one to detect by feeling or hearing when the members are turned into releasin position. Going more into detail, the receptacle of my invention comprises three interfitting rotary body members having oppositely disposed circumferential grooves or reentrant annular surfaces and a Single interfitting longitudinal passage.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention the three members are so shaped that the principal locking groove has a composite circumferential surface in which all three body members are represented. This construction defeats the possibility of opening the receptacle by putting a strain on it and turning its various parts while feeling for a releasing position. In the present novel construction the locking ball must move radially a slight distance before it passes down the longitudinal passage and in the meantime it has three key bearing points distributed among three rotary elements. Consequently, no indication can be detected when one of the three elements is brought into releasing position. Any feeling process is further complicated by the fact that the locking ball is freely movable in the various grooves.
Another important feature of the receptacle of my invention is that its rotary membersare so designed that their external cracks do not extend into any of the ball retaining grooves or passages so that even if made with a loose fit, it is impossible to detect the position of the looking ball.
These and other features of the invention will be best understood and appreciated from the following description of a preferred embodiment thereof, selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a view in perspective of the complete receptacle,
Fig. 2 is a view in perspective of its three interfitting parts shown in exploded relation,
Fig. 3 is a view in longitudinal section, and
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary view in longitudinal section and on a greatly enlarged scale.
The receptacle herein shown is selected merely the invention may be embodied. It is herein illustrated as a toy bank or the like and may be constructed of wood, metal, or any suitable plastic material. The base of the receptacle has a collar it from which projects a reduced cylindrical body ll provided with spaced circumferential grooves I2 and I3. The two grooves are connected by an external longitudinal passage M.
The body II is made hollow to receive the con-Y tents of the safe.
concentrically and telescopically fitted upon the body H is a sleeve member. having a collar 15 of the same diameter as the collar l0, and a reduced portion comprising a shoulder I6 and a projecting annular flange IT. The sleeve member is provided with an internal circumferential groove IB which, when the parts are assembled, registers with the groove I2 of the base and forms with it an annular passage of circular cross-section. The sleeve member is also provided with a longitudinal passag I!) which opens through the flange H. The sleeve is freely rotatable upon the body ll of the base, and in this rotation the longitudinal passage I9 may be brought into registration with the longitudinal passage M of the base and when so located forms a passage which is circular in cross-section.
The receptacle is completed by a cap 20 having the same external diameter as the collar I0 and sleeve I5. It is telescopically and concentrically received upon the body II, the flange I! and the shoulder l6 of the sleeve. It is provided with an internal circular groove 2| which, in the assembled receptacle, registers with the groove 13 of the base and forms therewith a complete passage which is circular in cross-section. At its top end the cap is provided with an annular recess shaped to fit over the shoulder l6 of the sleeve. It is also provided'with an internal longitudinal passage 23. It will be understood that the cap 26! is freely rotatable upon the base and sleeve and consequently that its longitudinal passage 23 may be brought into registration with the longitudinal passage M of the base and the longitudinal passage l9 of the sleeve. A locking ball 24 is freely movable in the longitudinal and circumferential passages formed by the registering grooves above described.
It will be seen that when the locking ball occupies a position in the passage l-2l8, the base and sleeve will be locked together and can be released only when a longitudinal escape passage is provided by bringing the passages l4 and I9 into exact registration. When this has been done and the composite passage located at the bottom of the assembly, the locking ball will roll into a position from which it may pass through the longitudinal passage thus releasing the base and the sleeve for separation by relative telescopic movement.
Further, it will be seen that when the locking ball occupies the passage formed by the registering grooves 2|, 1 3 and the end of the flange I1, the cap will be locked to the base with the sleeve held between these two members. The cap can only be unlocked by bringing the longitudinal passages l9 and 23 into exact registration. When this has been done and the composite passage thus formed located at the bottom side of the receptacle, the ball will reach a position in which it may roll downwardly through the composite passage into the passage l2| 8. This passage, therefore, acts as a reservoir for the locking ball while the cap is removed.
In the accompanying figures the three members of the receptacle are shown as provided with a single external longitudinal mark which indicates the position therein of the concealed longitudinal passages. It will be understood, however, in practice that all three members may be externally graduated with marked divisions and that the purchaser will be provided with the key combination indicating the releasing position of the three cooperating members of the receptacle.
Having thus disclosed my invention and described in detail a preferred embodiment thereof, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
1. A cylindrical receptacle comprising a shouldered base having spaced circumferential grooves therein connected by a longitudinal passage, an annular sleeve rotatable upon the base and having an internal circumferential groove and an intersecting longitudinal passage, a cap also rotatable on the base and having an internal circumferential groove and an intersecting passage, and a ball freely movable in said grooves and passages when the same are disposed into registering relation.
2. A cylindrical receptacle comprising a base having a body of reduced diameter provided with spaced circumferential grooves therein, a sleeve member rotatable upon said body and having an internal groove registering with one groove of said body and a flange supplementing a second groove in said body, a cap rotatable on said body and having an internal groove also supplementing said second groove in the body of the base, there being also a single longitudinal passage in each of the three parts, and a ball freely movable therein.
3. A receptacle comprising a base having a cylindrical body with a circumferential groove therein and an intersecting longitudinal passage, a sleeve and a cap rotatable on said body and both having surfaces which supplement the groove of the body and form a composite ballretaining surface therewith, the said sleeve and cap each having a longitudinal passage that may be brought into registration with the passage of the body of the base, and a ball freely movable in said groove and passage.
ARTHUR H. MACLAREN.
No references cited.