US 2535607 A
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N. R. SMITH MAILBOX SWITCH Dec. 26, 1950 2 SIN-Jecs-Sheerl 1 Filed April lO, 1946 /Vommff Snif/ ATI'D RN EYB N. R. SMITH MAILBOX SWITCH Dec. 26, 1950 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April lO, 1946 ATTE] RN EYB Patented Dec. 26, 1950 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE MAILBOX SWITCH Norman B. Smith, Laurel Springs, N. J. Application April 10, 1946, Serial No. 661,165
1 Claim. l
My present invention relates to an improved mail box switch and more particularly to :a mail box designed especially for domcstic use wherein an electric circuit operated in conjunction with the mail box signals when a letter or post card has been deposited in the mail box by the postman.
The mail box of my invention also contemplates an electro-magnetically controlled latch. for the door of the box subject to operation oi a switch in the circuit within a house or apart The mail deposit signal is entirely auto tic and does not require action on behalf of the postman or the resident of the premises and is solely under control of the mail deposited in the box. The weight of the mail, either letter or post card will close an open circuit and illuminate the lamp in the circuit.
An audible signal may be substituted for the visual signal, or both may be used if so desired.
The principal object of my invention is to provide a mail box which will notify the resident immediately of the deposit of mail so that the mail may be removed. Thus losses through pilfering of mail boxes will be lessened and the frequent trips to the mail box will be avoided.
In the drawings accompanying this description I have illustrated one complete example of the physical embodiment of my invention according to the best mode I have thus far devised but it will be understood that various changes and alterations may be made in the exemplified structure within the scope of the appended claim.
In the drawings- Figure l is a front elevational View oi the mail box with the lowerportion thereof broken away.
Figure 2 is a side elevational view of the mail box with the lower portion thereof broken away.
Figure 3 is an enlarged detail view of the latch for the door, taken at line 3 3 of Figure 2.
Figure 4 is a detail view of the circuit breaker mechanism in closed position.
Figure 5 is a top plan view of the circuit breaker mechanism.
Figure 6 is a bottom plan View of the circuit breaker mechanism.
Figure 7 is a perspective view of the circuit closer.
Figure 8 is a transverse sectional view of the circuit breaker mechanism; and
Figure 9 is a diagrammatic View of the electric circuit.
Referring now to the drawings, I use an elongated rectangular shaped vertically disposed housing providing a letter box of the conventional type having a hinged top l, and a front wall 2 providrd with a door 3 hinged at 4 and 5. Upon lthe door 3 I illustrate a panel 6 for the insertion of a card bearing the name of the resident of the premises.
The mail box is fashioned with a conventional back I and bottom 8. Along one edge of the door, opposite the hinged edge is provided an inturned lug or keeper Q formed with an opening l D therein.
A latch for the door is provided inside the front wall thereof and comprises a solenoid latch bar vH surrounded by an electro-magnet l2 and urged into latcliing position by spring I3.
The solenoid l2 is provided with wires i4 and I5 providing a circuit to the push-button switch it to the transformer T. Thus when the switch I6 is closed, the current from the transformer passes through the circuit energizing the solenoid and drawing the latch back from engagement with the keeper 9. The door may then be opened. With the release of the switch to open the circuit, the solenoid is de-energized and the spring urges the latch into latching position with the keeper.
On the bottom 8 of the letter box I have positioned an inverted box-like tray providing a false bottom l1 having depending lugs I8 and spaced from the bottom 8 of the box.
Within the space between the bottom 8 and the false bottom I1 I utilize the circuit maker and breaker for the visual signal. This circuit breaker consists in a wire forming an L-shaped lever I9 having a horizontal U-shaped member 26 and a vertical U-shaped member 2l connected by a transverse section and having a transversely disposed end 2l extended from the end of the member 20. The arm 22 extending from the short leg of the vertical U-shaped member 20 supports a cross-bar 23 extending from the front to the back of the box, above the false bottom Il.
An insulating roller is provided on the inner transverse section of the horizontal U-shaped member and consists in a rubber or other nonconducting bearing roller 24.
Also between the false bottom Il and the bottom 8 of the box is fashioned a non-conducting support 25 for the resilient contact arms 26 and 21, and these arms are made of copper or other suitable material.
The ends of the arms 26 and 27 are connected respectively with wires 28 and 29 leading to the transformer T and the lamp L is included in the circuit.
Thus when a letter or postcard is deposited in the box it will rest upon the cross bar 23 and the weight of the letter or card will depress the bar and cause the lever to press the insulated bearing roller 24 upon the upper contact arm 26. The arm 26 will be flexed into contact with the lower arm 21, and the circuit will be complete. The lamp will be illuminated and the attention of the resident of the premises will be called to the mail box and its contents.
A main switch 30 is shown in the house current circuit for cutting off the entire transformer circuit when and if the occasion requires it.
It should be apparent from the above descriprtion that when the circuit breaker is utilized according to my invention the device will be entirely automatic in operation after the switch 30 is closed, and that any deposit of mail will notify the resident.
Having thus fully described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
In a mail box signal device, the combination which comprises an elongated rectangular shaped vertically disposed housing, an inverted box-like tray positioned in the lower part of the housing and having a slot in the upper surface, said tray providing a supporting stand for mail .deposited in the housing, a block of insulating material positioned in the said tray, a pair of spaced parallel contact arms carried by said block of insulating material and extended therefrom, contacts points positioned on the inner faces of the outer ends of said parallel contact arms, an L-shaped lever having a long leg and a short leg and having a U-shaped member extended from the end of said short leg positioned 4 in the housing with the short leg extended through the slot of the tray and with the long leg extended over the upper surface of the tray and spaced from said upper surface, means pivotally mounting the said L-shaped lever through the outer arm of the said U-shaped member on the end of the short leg thereof in the tray with the arm of the said U-shaped memberv extended from the short arm of the lever positioned to engage one of the said parallel contact arms whereby mail deposited in the box depresses the said long leg of the said L-shaped lever positioned above the Vtray and thereby actuates the said parallel contact arm engaged by the arm oi the U-shaped member of the lever and closes the said Contact points carried by the parallel contact arms.
NORMAN R. SMITH.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the le of this patent:
UNTED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 329,245 Weaver Oct. 27, 1885 455,126 Smith June 30, 1891 744 904 Clark Nov. 24, 1903 861,290 Koons July 30, 1907 2,132,111 Honegger Oct. 4, 1938 2,219,718 Thaxton Oct. 29, 1940 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 514,119 Germany Dec. 10, 1930