Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2656889 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 27, 1953
Filing dateOct 7, 1949
Priority dateOct 7, 1949
Publication numberUS 2656889 A, US 2656889A, US-A-2656889, US2656889 A, US2656889A
InventorsBenjamin B Kaplan
Original AssigneeInd Molded Products Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatcally operated cutting wheel for opening envelopes
US 2656889 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 27, I953 KAPLAN 2,656,889

8. B. AUTOMATICALLY OPERATED CUTTING WHEEL FOR OPENING ENVELOPES Filed Oct. '7, 1949 2 Sheets-Sheet l l, a F24 2 a? 4 Z ,8 HQ 1 a RF 9 r J 7: KZE 3 o 2 /s :5 7 4 i Z3 INVENTOR. I BENJAMIN B.KAPLAN 2f BY Had 02% (Ram A 'r' TOR/\IE vs Oct. 27, 1953 a. B. KAPLAN ,8 AUTOMATICALLY OPERATED CUTTING WHEEL FOR OPENING ENVELOPES Filed 001;. 7, 1949 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 W m v W HM INVENTOR. BENJAM/N B. KAPLA/V ATTORNEYS Patented Oct. 27, 1953 AUTOMATICALLY OPERATED CUTTING WHE FOB ,Q NVEL ES Benjamin B. Kaplan, to Industrial Molded Minn., a corporation 2 Claims.

This invention relates to new and useful improvements in envelope openers and more particularly to power operated openers. I.

An'important objectoi the presentinvention isto provide a simple and inexpensive machine for fopening envelopes, which is small and compact whereby it may readily be placed upon a desk ortable in a place of business to facilitate the usual laborious task of opening numerous letters each day.

A further and more specific object ofthe invention is to provide an'envelope opener comprising a pair of coacting cutting elements disposed adjacent to a suitable guide'for guiding the envelopes into engagement with the cutters, and said cutters having a motoroperatively connected thereto and provided with an electric circuit having a control switch therein adapted to be actuated by movement of each envelope fed through the machine, wherebythe operation of the machine is automatically controlled by the movement of the envelopes therethrough.

A further object is to provide an envelope opening machine comprising asupport over which the envelopes are fed into engagement with a cutting mechanism, and the cutting mechanism being supported on a suitable frame mountedfor limited sliding adjustment with respect to the path of travel of the envelopes,*whereby the width of the edge or strip severed from each, envelopemay be varied as may be desired;

1 A further object is to provide a small compact power driven envelope opener adapted for office or business use, which is extremely efficient and positive in operation, and is designed to operate only when an envelope or otherarticle is moved into engagement with its cutting elements, whereby the starting and stopping of the machine is entirely automatic. V Other objects of the invention reside in the unique mounting of the cutting elements whereby they are self sharpening and are always retained in cutting engagement with each other; in the simple means provided for laterally adjusting the cutters with respect to the path of tra'velof the envelopes; in the automatic control means .for the cutter, whereby the operation of the machine is controlled entirely by the passage of envelopes therethrough; inthe arrangement of the cutters whereby they are completely shielded for the protection of the operators fingers; and'in theprovision of means for'absorbing vibration to render the machine substantially noiseless in operation.

These. and other objects oitheuinventionu'and St. Paul, Minn., assignor Products Co. Inc., St. Paul,

of Minnesota Application ctober7, 1949, Serial No."120,021

the means for, their attainment will be more apparent from-thefollowing description taken i n connection with the accompanying drawings:

In'the accompanying drawings there has been disclosed a structure designed to carry out the various objects of the invention, but it is torbe understood that the invention is not confined to the exact features shown, as ,various changes may be made within the scope of the claims which follow. 1 I

In the drawings: l 1

Figure 1 is a perspective view of) the novel envelope opener herein disclosed showing an envelope about to be fed to the cutters;

Figure 2 i a longitudinal sectional view substantially on the line 2-2 of Figure 1, showing the control element adapted to be actuated by each envelope passing through the machine, thereby to automatically control the starting-and stopping of the cutters; V

Figure 3 is a view looking at the receiving end of the machine; i i

Figure 4 is a plan view of Figure 3; and t Figure 5 is a sectional plan view on theline 5-5 of Figure 3. l

The novel envelope opener herein disclosed is shown comprising abase p1ate2 provided, with suitablerubber feet or buttons 3, whereby it may be placed upon a desk or table without danger of marring the surface thereof. The base plate 2 constitutes the main support for the working parts of the machine and for the sake of economy may be constructed of cast metal a An upright wall portion, generally designated by the numeral 4 is provided on one sideof the base and has an upper horizontal flange 5 from which'rises a vertical envelope guide 6, shown integrally formedtherewith. The flange 5 also provides a support for one side of a plate -1 which forms a table or support over which the envelopes are fed with one edge engaged with the guide 6. The plate 1 has a depending wall portion 8 terminating in a horizontal flange 9 at its bottom to which rubber buttons or feet 3 are securedas shown in Figure 3. The plate 1 is shown detach,- ably secured to the flange 5 by suitable screws I l-l l. The upright wall 4 of the base may be reinforced by diagonal wall portions [2 and I3, shown in Figures 3 and 4. l u An important feature of the present invention resides in thenovel construction and mounting of the cutter mechanism. which comprises a minimum of moving .parts and all such parts being carried by aframe, generally designated by the numeral [4. The frame 14, as herein shown, is

box-like in shape, but obviously itmay be otherwise formed without departing from the scope of the claims. The bottom wall I5 of the frame i4 is movably mounted upon and between suitable guides i6 and H which, for the sake of economy, may be integrally formed with the base plate 2. A piece of sheet rubber, designated by the numeral |5, is shown interposed between the guides l5 and I? and the bottom wall l5 of the frame l4, and is sufficiently guides and the frame it frame It in its adjusted postion. A bolt I9 is received in aligned apertures 2| and 22 provided respectively in the base plate Zand bottom wall |5 of the frame M in position between the guides The aperture frame is is made relatively larger than the aperture 2| in the base plate Figure 3, thereby to allow freedom of movement of the frame in its guides without'interference from the screw It. A pair of relatively large metallic washers 23, shown square in configuration, may, if desired, be interposed between the nut 24 of the bolt is and the bottomwall l5 of the frame M. The nut 24 is preferably of the lock type, whereby it will retain its adjusted posi tion upon the bolt without danger of shifting, as a result of vibration of the machine. A suitable resilient washer 25, preferably of rubber, is interposed between the metallic washers 23 and cooperates with the sheet rubber member |8- to absorb vibration and to render the machine practically noiseless in operation.

The cutting means is shown comprising a pair of cutting elements 25 and 21 mounted, respectively, on shafts 28 and 29, rotatably supported in suitable bearings provided in the upright walls 3| and 32 of the frame M. The upper cutting element 25 is preferably in the form of a roller having a square cutting edge 33 which cooperates with the sharpened edge of the lower cutting element 27 to effect the cutting of the envelopes, as will subsequently be described. The lower cutting element 2| is preferably in the form of a disk having a knife edge which overlaps a portion of the front face of the cutting element or roller 25 to assure a clean cut of the paper, when an envelope is fed along the guide 5 between the cutting elements.

The cutting elements 25 and 27 are simultaneously driven in opposite directions,- when the machine is in operation, and the means provided for thus driving said elements is shown comprising a small motor 34 which may be mounted directly upon the back wall 35 of the frame l4 and secured thereto by suitable screws 36 and 31, as best shown in Figure 3. The usual hub 38 of the motor housing and the drive end of the motor shaft 39, are shown received in an enlarged aperture 4| provided in the back wall 35 of the frame M. A worm 42 is secured to the motor shaft 35 and intermeshes with worm gears 43 and 45 secured respectively to the shafts 28 and 29 of the cutter elements 25 and 21. Thus, when the motor is operating, a rotary movement is simultaneously imparted to the cutting shafts 28 and 29, as will be understood by reference to Figure 3.

Means is provided for rendering the cutting elements 25 and 21, self-sharpening, and is shown comprising a spring 20 coiled about the rear end portion of the shaft 29 of the lower cutter 27. One end of the spring engages the adjacent wall 32 of the frame 14, and its other [6 and'i'l'.

compressed between the to frictionally retain the i4, and serves to secure the'frame 22 in the bottomwall' l5- of the- 2, as indicated in end a collar 30 secured to the projecting end of the shaft 23, as best shown in Figures 3 and 4. The spring 20 thus constantly tends to move the shaft in a rearward direction, whereby the cutting edge of the disk 21 is automatically retained in self-sharpening, cutting engagement with its complemental cutting element 25, as willreadily be understood.

The means provided for varying the strip or edge out from each envelope is shown comprising a stub shaft 45 having a threaded end portion 46 received in threaded engagement with the wall 32 of the frame l4. The opposite end of the shaft 45'is supported in a bearing 41 provided-onthe'base plate 2. A knurled finger knob 48is secured-to the outer end of the shaft 45, and a collar 49 is shown secured to said shaft at the inner side of the bearing 47, whereby the hub of the finger knob 48 and the collar d9 cooperate to prevent axial movement of the shaft 45 relative to the base plate2.

By referring to Figure 3, it will be noted that because of the shaft 45 being restrained against axial movement when rotated, the threaded terminal 46 thereof will cause the frame M to be relatively moved in its guides, whereby the cutters 25 and 2-! are correspondingly adjusted with respect to the guide flange 6-, thereby to vary the width of the strip cut from each envelope.

Another feature of the invention resides in the means provided for automatically controlling the operation of the motor each time an envelope is fed along the guide 6 over the feed table To thus control the operation of the motor, a small control element or feeler, generally designated' by the numeral 5|, is pendently supported over the path of travel of the envelopes with its lower end positioned beneath the top surface of the feed table I, whereby the feeler 5| is engaged by each envelope fed over the table and swung forwardly to the dotted line position shown at A in Figure 2.

The feeler 5| may, for the sake of economy, be made from a piece of wire bent to form a shaft 52 having a loop 53 formed therein adapted to engage the wall 3| of the frame l4, thereby to prevent axial movement of the shaft 52 in one direction. A hub 54 is secured to the opposite end of the wire shaft 52 and engages the wall 32 and thus prevents axial movement of the shaft 52 in the opposite direction. A plate 55 is suitably secured to the hub 54 of the shaft, as by welding, and has an aperture therein in which is mounted a mercury switch 55, of conventional construction. A rubber sleeve 57 is mounted in the aperture in the plate 55 into which the bulb of the mercury switch 56 is inserted, and whereby the switch bulb is frictionally supported in the plate 55 in insulated relation thereto.

By reference to Figure 3, it will be noted that the center of the plate 55 is laterally offset from the axis of the shaft 54 in a downward direction, whereby the lower portion of the plate acts as a weight to retain the mercury switch in its circuit opening position. Thus when the machine is at rest, the plate 55 will be supported as shown in Figure 3, whereby the usual contacts of the mercury switch are in circuit-opening position, and the feeler 5| is supported in the path of the envelopes, as shown in full lines in Figure 2.

The mercury switch controls the supply of current to the motor 34, and is interconnected in an electric circuit comprising conductors 58 and 53 each having one end connected to terminals Bland 62, respectively mounted in a terminal block, generally designated by the numeral 63. A wire 64 has one end electrically connectedto the terminal Sly andits opposite end to one of thecontacts of themercury switch 56. A second wire 65 leads from the other contact of the mercury switch to a terminal 66 which is in electrical connection with a wire 67 leading to one side of the usual winding of the motor. A second wire 68 leads from the other side of the motor winding to the terminal block 62 and is electrically connected to the wire 59, thereby completing the circuit to the motor.

A suitable housing, generally designated by the numeral 69, is adapted to be fitted over all of the working parts of the machine and has three upright walls, the edge portions of which are detachably secured to the base plate 2 by suitable screws, not shown. An opening is provided in the front side of the housing whereby the upper portion of the housing maybe extended over the cutters, thereby to serve asa guard to shield the cutters and prevent the operators fingers from accidently engagin the cutters when the machine is in operation.

The space H between the table top 1 and the bottom edge 12 of the front Wall 13 of the housing is less than the normal diameter of a finger, whereby an operator is not likely to insert a finger under the housing into contact with the cutters.

In the operation of the novel machine herein disclosed, the motor is connected to a conventional lighting circuit or the like by a suitable plug-in cord forming a continuation of the conductors 58 and 59, whereby the machine is made ready for use. The envelopes to be opened are then successively passed over the table 1 with one edge engaged with the upright guide flange 6, as indicated in Figure 1, whereby the edge of the envelope engaged with the guide 6 is severed from the body of the envelope thereby to open the envelope along the full length of its body. The portion of the table 1 in advance of the cutting elements or wheels 26 and 21 constitutes an envelope feeding zone. An envelope cutting zone is provided in the table I by an opening 14 in which the cuttin wheels 26 and 21 are disposed.

The narrow edge trimmed from the envelope is directed downwardly through the opening 14 in the table top 1, as indicated by the arrow 15 in Figure 2, whereby such waste may be delivered into a suitable receiving means or directly onto the top of the table upon which the machine is supported.

The machine is self supporting and complete in construction, and when the current supply cord (conductors 58 and 59) of the motor is plugged into the receptacle of an electric supply circuit, the machine is always ready for immediate use. The compactness and lightness of the machine make it possible to readily and conveniently shift it about from one place to another, whenever desired, which is a desirable feature in an apparatus of this general type. Should it be found advisable to vary the width of the strip severed from the envelope, the operator simply rotates the finger knob 48 in one direction or the other, depending upon the width desired. Such rotation of the finger knob 48 shifts the frame M in its guides I6 and I! in a direction towards or away from the feed table 1, because of its threaded connection with the shaft 45.

In actual operation, it has been found that tionof the various parts of the apparatus, the cutting edges of the cutters may, if desired, be positioned to sever only the bare edge from each envelope. In actual use, however, the cutters are preferably positioned to sever a strip one sixteenth inch wide, which is sufiicient to allow for slight irregularities in the feedingof the envelopes through the machine.

The upright wall portion 4 of the base plate 2 is shown formed with an auxiliary housing 40 disposed to conceal the lower cutting element 21 under the table 1. One end of the auxiliary housing w is open, and said opening is defined by an upright inwardlyinclined deflecting flange 50, as

best indicated in dotted'lines in Figure 4, and full lines in Figure 5. The edge of the flange 50 is s aced outwardly from the wall 4 to provide an opening through which the severed strips from theenvelopes are direc ed, as indicated by the arrow 15inFigure 5. h -The sheet rubber member-I8 interposed""be"- 6 and I1 and the lower portween the guides 1 tion of the frame in conjunction with the is extremely quiet in operation.

Another feature of the invention resides in the formation of the cutters, whereby the upper cutting element 26 in addition to cooperating with the lower disk-like cutter 21 to sever an edge from each envelope, also serve to automatically feed each envelope through the machine, the moment the envelope has been moved into cutting engagement with the cutters.

The construction of the machine as a whole is very simple and inexpensive, all of the parts being so designed that they readily lend themselves to manufacture in mass production on conventional machinery, whereby the cost of pro ducing the machine in quantity production may be comparatively low, relative to the cost of such machines now on the market.

The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and

construed as broadly the prior art.

I claim as my invention:

1. In an envelope opening machine, a base plate including a cutting zone and an envelope between said cutting wheels, said downwardly extending portion of said control member being movable from said downwardly extending position ahead of said cutting wheels to a position wherein said portion is raised slightly above the juncture of said cutting wheels in response to the movement of an envelope through said cutting zone to actuate said motor starting means, said because of the unique construction and orientadownwardly extending portion of said control me er be n ma n ined, i s i w rm d position during the passage of an envelope through said cutting zone.

2. In an envelope opening machine, a base plate including a cutting zone and an envelope feeding zone, co-acting cutting wheels positioned on said base plate in said cutting zone, means for driving said cutting wheels comprising an electric motor, a control rod mounted transversely of said base plate, motor starting means mounted on said transverse control rod, a rocker control arm depending from said transverse control rod, said rocker arm being normally positioned ahead of said cutting wheels and extending toward said envelope feeding zone, said rocker arm being movable in response to the movement of an envelope through said cutting zone from a substantially vertical and downwardly depending position to a second position wherein said rocker arm is slightly above the juncture of said cutting wheels to actuate said motor starting means, said rocker arm being maintained in said second named posi- BENJAMIN B. KAPLAN.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Number I Name Date Andrews Mar. 25, 1902 Pringle July 27, 1920 Deck Sept. 29, 1931 Keiser Dec. 29, 1931 Moore Feb. 27, 1934 Ryan Jan. 25, 1938 Rosenberg Jan. 9, 1940 Ward Aug. 19, 1941 Peterson Apr. 2'7, 1943 Casagrande Mar. 2, 1950 Seidman Aug. 15, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS Country Date Great Britain Mar. 19, 1908

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US695994 *Apr 12, 1901Mar 25, 1902Hyde Windlass CompanyWindlass and capstan and means for driving same.
US1347872 *Dec 7, 1916Jul 27, 1920American Sales Book Co LtdSlitting mechanism
US1825223 *May 3, 1929Sep 29, 1931Deck Howard SCutting machine
US1838840 *May 31, 1928Dec 29, 1931Bircher Company IncEnvelope opening machine
US1949281 *Dec 3, 1931Feb 27, 1934Coe Mfg CoFeeder
US2106191 *Apr 26, 1935Jan 25, 1938Nat Postal Meter CompanyMail treating machine
US2186594 *Jul 19, 1938Jan 9, 1940Stig E RosenbergPerforating machine
US2253311 *Jun 6, 1938Aug 19, 1941Bell Punch Co LtdTicket control device
US2317553 *Dec 12, 1941Apr 27, 1943Peterson Raymond HPower shear
US2506343 *Jun 26, 1946May 2, 1950Gen ElectricSlitting machine
US2519201 *Jun 7, 1949Aug 15, 1950Seidman Richard LMachine for cutting strips from continuous material, such as webbing, ribbon, or the like
GB190806126A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2795276 *Sep 13, 1954Jun 11, 1957Willard T KennelMethod and apparatus for opening envelopes
US3056322 *Mar 25, 1953Oct 2, 1962Smithe Machine Co Inc F LWeb fed envelope machine
US3286574 *Apr 22, 1964Nov 22, 1966Paul Durand AugustePaper slitting apparatus
US3597843 *Mar 21, 1969Aug 10, 1971John S KettlestringsDevice for opening envelopes
US3739670 *Nov 16, 1970Jun 19, 1973Matushita Electric Ind Co LtdAutomatic feeding, power-operated envelope opener
US4926729 *Aug 8, 1989May 22, 1990Elm Industry Co., Ltd.Envelope opener
US5470182 *Feb 4, 1994Nov 28, 1995Omation CorporationEnvelope opening machine
US6912827Mar 8, 2002Jul 5, 2005Opex CorporationApparatus for opening envelopes
US8430007 *Oct 15, 2009Apr 30, 2013Pitney Bowes SASDocument processing machine with improved driving system
US8443518 *Dec 28, 2007May 21, 2013Stephen FisherBlister package opener
US20100095822 *Oct 15, 2009Apr 22, 2010Pitney Bowes Inc.Document processing machine with improved driving system
U.S. Classification83/372, 30/DIG.300, 83/492, 74/724
International ClassificationB43M7/00
Cooperative ClassificationB43M7/005, Y10S30/03
European ClassificationB43M7/00D