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Publication numberUS252154 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 10, 1882
Filing dateApr 30, 1881
Publication numberUS 252154 A, US 252154A, US-A-252154, US252154 A, US252154A
InventorsPeecival E. Temple
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Post-office box
US 252154 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

(No Model.) Y x2 Sheets-Sheet 1. P."R.- TEMPLE & G; W. PIERCE;


Patented-Jan. 10 K1a82.

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N M a 1. 28h ets-Sheet 2. 8 P. TEMPLE & W; PIERCE.


Patented Jan. 10,1882;

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SPECIFICATION formingpart of Letters Patent No. 252,154, dated January 10, 1882.

Application filed April 30, 1881 (No model.)

To all whom it may concern:

Beit known that we, PERGIVAL R. TEMPLE, of Everett, in the county of Middlesex, and Gno. WILLIs' PIERCE, of Boston, county of Suffolk, bothin the State of Massachusetts, have invented certain Improvements in Post- OfficeLet-ter-Boxes, of which the following is a specification.

Our invention relates to post-office letterbox systems, and has for its object to provide for anew system of receivingmail-matter andfor delivering it.

In the system now generally in use fixed boxes or pigeon-holes are arranged in tiers of any desired number, each box having on the outside, accessible to the subscriber or boxowner, a door with a suitable lock, the key of which isheld by the subscriber. The opposite end of the box is open for the post-oflice clerks convenience in placing within it the proper mail. I

While this system. possesses many desirable features, it still has some serious defects incident to itfirst, that of lack of safety. While to a certain extent there is safety in the locks usually upon such boxes, the element of danger lies in the fact that while on the way to or from the post-oflice a dishonest employ has the opportunity to abstract valuable letters, and nnless' registered all trace of them is lost. Again, there is lack of privacy in such carriage of mail, because there is usually'no provision by a large classof subscribers of any receptacle whatever in which to carry themail to or from the post-office,and even where m ailare open to the inspection of the carriers, and to whonisoever they may choose to exhibit them.

. Our invention seeks to remove these objections; and it consists of certain appliances whereby the security and privacy of mail-matten are greatly increased, both for conveyance to post-offices and to box-subscribers places of business.

We propose a new system, contemplating; the use of portable supplemental mail lockboxes, into which the mail can be as readily lrear view of the same.

distributed as in the present fixed boxes, and by means of which the contents can be transferred to the hands of thebox-subscribers without the carriers seeing them or havingan opportuniiy of securing any part of them, except by resorting to such means as would probably involve their detection. Mail-matter can also be placed securely in these portable lock-boxes by box-subscribers at their offices, and thus delivered into the hands of carriers and be conveyedto the post-ofiice clerks without. the contents of the boxes being seen or disturbed by the carriers.

In the accompanying. drawings, Figure 1 represents a front viewin perspective of four post office boxes, according to our invention, secured in pigeon-holes. Fig. 2 represents a Fig. 3 represents a horizontal section through two such boxes,

one in its normal position, the other partially withdrawn from its pigeon-hole. Fig. 4sh0ws the rear end of a box with its door closed.

Fig.5 represents a horizontal section of the rear end of the box, showing the position of the parts when the box is partially withdrawn r 12 show constructions by which a metallic boxfront or a continuous metallic frontage is secured.

bags are used, as is sometimes the case, they A- indioates portable mail-boxes, made of an y suitableinaterial, preferably of metal, arranged to slide into and out of pigeon-holes. The outer end, a, of each box is solid, and has a ban- Idle, 6;, by which the box is placed into and withdrawn from the pi geon-hole, and by means of which the box may be carried inthe hand of the carrier to and from the post ofifice. In

the end a is a suitable lock, c of any desired posite end, I), of the box has a hinged door, 0, having a spring-lock, l, to which are two keys, one in care of the post'otfice clerk and the other in possession of the box-subscriber. When the box is placed in the pigeon-hole the door 0 is closed, and afterward can be unlocked and opened by the post-office clerk, as shown in the lower part of Fig. 2.

' Upon the door at thehinge end is a projection or boss, g, having a cavity, 9, within which is a coil-spring, s,arranged to bear against the long arm of bell-crank lever t, whose short arm it normally rests upon the abutment F. The door is held to the box by means of the rod 19, passing throughthe'lugs m of the box and n of the door, and also through the bell-crank lever 25, as shown. The lever t is so arranged that when the door is open, as shown in Fig. 7, it prevents the door from being thrown open fully, so as to obstruct the opening of the adjacent box.

The details of construction above described may obviously be modified without departing from the substance of our invention.

There should be, in connection with each pigeon-hole, two such boxes, A, as have been described, one in possession of the box-subscriberand one in the pigeon-hole. Then, supposing the subscriber to have placed his mail within his portable box at his office, and the box to have been locked by him and delivered to his carrier, the latter will convey it to the post-office. It becomes necessary now to have special means for the deposit of the mail within the post-office. Accordingly we provide the inclined shelf or counterOand pal tition I? with box-apertures D and the box stop or strip S. Arriving at the post-office, the carrier places the door end of the box in one of the apertures D in an inclined position and allows-it to remain until the post-office clerk has opened the door and the contents are'discharged by gravity or by hand into a suitable receptacle. The dodr being then closed and spring-locked, the carrier withdraws the empty box and proceeds with it to his box or pigeon-hole number, unlocks the outside lock, rd, of the box already in the pigeon-hole, withdraws it and inserts the locked box he had brought with him, which he looks into its place by the lock a or, if a spring-lock'is used, it looks itself into position. He then carries the second box, looked as he finds it, to his employer. At his convenience the post-office-clerk unlocks the door of box last deposited, throws it open to the position shown in Fig. 2, and places the mail within. As the carrier withdraws the box from its pigeon-hole the door will be automatically closed as follows: When the box commences to move the crank-lever t strikes the end of the side F of the pigeon-hole, causing a reaction by means of spring 8, and the swinging of the door to the closed position, as shown in Fig. 6. For further assurance of locking the door there is a further action by the lever t being further depressed in its passage through the pi geon-hole,

compressing the spring, and thus acting upon the door,'as shown in Fig. 5.

There are other methods of closing the door which can be used in connection with our invention, and we have devised a box so an ranged as not to require unlocking after the contents have been removed by the post-oilice clerk, having a slit into which the mail is inserted, and not requiring the automatic closing of the door, though this method necessitates more work on the part of the post-office delivery-clerk, and also makes an opening in the box.

The boxes A should have their ends a made of metal, and they may be partially glazed and provided with metallic grate-bars at the outer ends, if desired.

In practice it will be desirable to cover the outer ends of the pigeon-hole partitions with metal for greater security, as shown in Figs. 9 and 10 at w, and when that is done each portable box with a metallic end, a, locked in place in its pi geon-hole,will, together with the metalcovered walls of the pigeon-hole, form a complete metallic outer face, including each pigeonhole and box; and a series of pigeon-holes and boxes locked in place within them will likewise present a continuous metallic front, in effect substantially the same, although the construction is different, for the purposes of security, as that set forth in Reissued United States Letters Patent No. 8,783, July 1, 1879."

Instead of faci'n gthe fronted ges of the pigeonhole walls with metal, a metal flange or projection, as shown at y, Figs. 11 and 12, may extend outward from all sides of the metallic end a of each portable box a distance equal to one-half the width of each pigeon-hole partition. This will serve to form a continuous metallic frontage when the boxes are all in place or locked in place inthe pigeon-holes, and will also serve as a stop for the insertion of the boxes the proper distance to be locked.-

Having thus described our invention, what we claim,and desire to secure by Letters Patent isa 1 A portable-mailbox closed on all sides and at the outer end, and provided witha suitable fastening for securing the box in a pigeonhole, and having a door at the inner end for the admission of mail-matter, substantially as described.

2. A portable mail-box closed at the outer end, and provided with a handle for withdrawing and carrying it, and having a door and a lock for fastening the door at the inner end, substantially as described.

' 3. In combination with a pigeon-hole or a series of pigeon-holes open at both ends, a portable supplemental mail-box or series of boxes, (each with a metallic front and with a door at its inner end,) secured removably with in thesame, forming a complete metallic facing or frontage, while open, for the reception of mail matter l'rom within, substantially as described.

4. In combination with a pigeon-hole open at both ends, a portable mail-box provided with a door at its inner end hinged to the box and projecting so as to be struck by one of the 5 partition-walls of the pigeon-hole, and closed by the act of withdrawing the box from the pigeon-hole, substantially as described.

5. The combination of the boss g, the bellcrank lever t, the door, the rod p, and the 10 spring 8, substantially as described.

6. Thecombination of an inclined shelf, an apertured partition, and a strip or stop,whereby a portable mail-box may be supported in an inclined position for securely depositing its contents within a post-office, substantially as 15 described.

In testimony whereof we have signed our names to this specification, in the presence of two subscribing witnesses, this 9th day of March, 1881. i 4




Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4121758 *Feb 23, 1977Oct 24, 1978Emerson BonnerMailbox liner with mail removal slide
US4254875 *Aug 13, 1979Mar 10, 1981Emery VarhelyiMail sorting apparatus and method
US4398470 *Mar 12, 1982Aug 16, 1983John D. Brush & Co., Inc.Wall safe
US20050167343 *Aug 6, 2004Aug 4, 2005Igal AvishayApparatus for sorting
Cooperative ClassificationA47B88/00