US 2685191 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
g 1954 w. E. FORD LOCK, PRIMARILY FOR METER BOX COVERS Filed Feb. 19, 1952 JNVENTOR. .5. FORD,
A TTO/PNE'K mar/1 92% Patented Aug. 3, 1954 UNITED STATE TENT OFFICE Wilbur E. Ford, Wabash, Ind., assignor to The Ford Meter Box Company, Inc., Wabash, Ind,
a corporation of Indiana Application February 19, 1952, Serial No. 272,439
The present invention relates to looks for meter box covers and the like and is primarily concerned with the provision of such a lock having improved safety characteristics, simplicity of design, and ease of manufacture. Specifically, the invention resides in the provision of a lock of such design that when the bolt is moved to its fully projected position, it may not thereafter be moved out of that position without first shifting the bolt laterally with respect to the line of movement of said bolt in moving from its fully projected position to its retracted position.
A further object of the invention is to provide a single spring arrangement in such a lock which, after moving the bolt into its projected position, will then shift the bolt laterally into a position from which the bolt may not thereafter be directly retracted from its locking position.
Still further objects will appear as the description proceeds.
To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, my invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that change may be made in the specific construction illustrated and described, so long as the scope of the appended claims is not violated.
Fig. 1 is a fragmental sectional view through a meter box or the like, showing my lock associated therewith;
Fig. 2 is a perspective view, partially broken away, showing my invention as seen from the bottom of Fig. 1 and drawn to an enlarged scale;
Fig. 3 is a bottom plan view of the lock showing the bolt in its fully projected position;
Fig. 4 is a plan view similar to that of Fig. 3 but showing the bolt of my lock in partially retracted position; and
Fig. 5 is a perspective view of a key for use with the lock of this invention.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, it will be seen that I have illustrated, fragmentarily, one form of meter box It or the like comprising an upper portion having a port l2 therein and a radially-inwardly-projecting lip 3 guarding said port. A cover Hi is supportable upon lip it when said cover is in port closing position, as illustrated in Fig. 1. My invention is concerned with the provision of a lock for such a structure.
One edge of cover 14, in conventional structures of this type, is provided with a hook or lug I2 for retaining engagement with the lip l3. Opposite lug I5 I have provided my locking means indicated generally by the reference numeral l1.
Lock comprises a latch element it comprising an elongated body portion l9, and a shank 20 and a bolt 2| projecting oppositely from body portion i9 in spaced parallelism, substantially normal to said body portion and lo cated on opposite sides of a median line through said body l9. Element [8 is supported on cover it for rectilinear movement toward and from the perimeter of said cover in a plane substantially parallel thereto through the medium of a pair of lugs 22 and 23 fixed to cover I4 and depending therefrom for supporting engagement with element l8. Lug 23 is arranged on cover I i near the erimeter thereof and lug 22 is spaced inwardly from said perimeter and is laterally offset with respect thereto. Preferably, lug 22 is bifurcated for the reception and guidance of shank 20. Lug 23, preferably, is apertured as at 35 for the reception and guidance of bolt 2|. A pin 25 spans the furcations of lug 22 to prevent displacement of shank 20. Thus shank 2B is received and supported in a guideway defined by lug 22 and its pin 25, while bolt 2| is received and supported in a guideway defined by lug 23.
Surrounding shank 20 and confined between the body portion l9 and lug 22 is a coiled spring 26. Spring 26 urges element l8 and the associated bolt 2| toward the perimeter of cover M. In the fully projected position of said bolt, body portion l9 abuts lug 23.
A notch 21 is formed in the side of bolt 2| remote from shank 2% to provide a shoulder 28 facing generally in the direction of body l9. After reaching its fully projected position, bolt 2| is moved laterally under the influence of spring 25 to cause the shoulder 28 to become hooked behind the face 29 of lug 23. Thereafter, before the bolt can again be moved to its retracted position, it must first be shifted laterally, or, in other words, the entire element It must be rocked about the lug 22 to move the shoulder 28 out of retaining engagement with face 29.
In this connection, it will be seen that the aperture 36 through the lug 23 is proportioned and designed to guide the bolt 2| in its movements, in the direction of the axis of said bolt, while permitting limited lateral or transaxial movement of said bolt to effect engagement or disengagement of said shoulder 28 with said lug face 29. Similarly, the facing walls of the furcations of the lug 22 are rounded, as is most clearly shown in Fig. 4, whereby said furcations guide the shank 20 in its movement, in the direction of the axis of said shank, while permitting limited axial rocking movement of said shank (and of the entire latch element It) about an axis parallel with, and substantially midway between, said facing walls of said lug furcations.
To accomplish the above rocking movement of element i8 about such axis, I provide a cam surface 39 on body portion IS. A keyhole 3| in closure H3 is arranged in'registry with this cam surface. A. key 32 having a shank 33 and a tang 34 3 may be inserted through keyhole 3! from the opposite surface or" said closure or cover, whereupon the tank 35 thereof will be located in cooperative engagement with cam surface As is most clearly shown in Fig. 3, when the latch element is in locked condition the surface 38 inclines away from the adjacent cover edge at an angle of less than 45 to the axis of bolt 21. Thus, as the key is turned in a clockwise direction, as viewed in Fig, 3, the tang 34 slides upon the surface 38, camming the body 59 upwardly, as viewed in said figure, without materially tending to shift the latch body to the right. Thus, the body is caused to rock about the region of engagement between the shank 2d and the furcations of the lug 22, to disengage the shoulder 28 from the lug face 29. Further rotation of the key, however, brings its tang into cooperative engagement with the body surface 3?, which merges with the cam surface 35, but which is substantiall perpendicular to the axis of the bolt 2|, to shift the latch element bodily to the right, against the tendency of the spring 26, to retract the bolt 2! from engagement with the lip i3 and into a position located wholly within the perimetral boundaries of the cover Hi,
As clearly shown in Fig. 1, the arrangement of the lock on cover M is such that when the bolt is fully projected, it underrides lip i3 of box id to prevent removal of cover i l. Retraction of bolt 2! permits cover removal, which is greatly facilitated by the provision of the handle 35 on key 32 to permit lifting of the cover through the medium of the key alone.
I claim as my invention:
1. For use with a meter box having an access port guarded by an inwardly projecting flange and a cover for said port seatable on said flange, the invention comprising key-actuated means for releasably securing said cover to said box in port-closing position, such means comprising a first lug depending from said cover near the periphery thereof, a second lug likewise depending from said cover but spaced inwardly from said periphery and spaced laterally from a line passing through said first lug substantially perpendicular to a line tangent to said cover periphery, a latch element comprising an elongated body, a shank projecting from said body near one end thereof substantially normal thereto, a bolt projecting from said body near the other end thereof but oppositely from said shank, and an arm projecting from said body at a point intermediate said bolt and said shank and from the side of said body remote from said bolt, said arm retreating from said shank in a smooth curve and terminating in a. portion substantially perpendicular to the axes of said bolt and said shank, the concave surface of said arm defining a cam face substantially normal to the plane of said body, said lugs each being provided with an aperture having an axis substantially perpendicular to the said line tangent to said cover periphery, said bolt being slidably received through the aperture of said first lug and said shank being slidably received through the aperture of said second lug for guiding said latch element rectilinearly toward and from said cover periphery, said cover being provided with a keyhole in registry with said cam face and a coiled compression spring sleeved on said shank to bear against said body and said second lug to urge said latch element toward said cover periphery and said bolt into retaining engagement with said inwardly projecting flange on said box, said bolt being formed with an abutment arranged on said bolt on the side thereof remote from said shank and at a point spaced from said body to define a shoulder facing generally in the direction of said body, said shoulder, when said latch element is in its position nearest said cover periphery, being movable into engagement with the surface of said first lug remote from said body under the influence of said coiled spring, said latch element being actuated by inserting a tanged key through said keyhole and rotating the same to cause said tang to move along said cam face to first rock said element about said second lug to move said bolt laterally, relative to a the axis of said bolt and against the influence of said coiled spring, to disengage said shoulder from the surface of said first lug and then to shift said latch element, with said bolt rectilinearly from said cover periphery.
The device of claim 1 in which said second lug is bifurcated to form said aperture therein. said shank being arranged between said furcations, and including a pin arranged to span said furcations to prevent displacement of said shank from between said furcations.
3. In combination a cover element providing a first guideway adjacent an edge of said cover and second guideway more remote from said edge, a latch element having a body, a bolt and a shank projecting substantially oppositely from sai body on substantially par l l axes located on opposite sides of a median line through said body, said bolt being received and supported in said first-named guideway for .1 movement between a projected position wherein the bolt end lies near said cover edge and a retracted position wherein said bolt end lies more remote from said cover edge within the perimetral boundaries of said cover, for limited transax al movement in said guideway, and said shank being received and supported in said second guideway for axial reciprocation and transaxial rocking movement therein, said bolt being formed with a laterally-projecting shoulder engageable, in projected position of said bolt with said guideway to prevent retraction of said bolt prior to said lateral trans-axial movement thereof, and spring means engaging said body, in a region on that side of said median line remote from said bolt axis, resiliently said body toward bolt-projected position and said shoulder toward guideway engagement,
4. The combination of claim 3 in which said cover is formed with keyhole providing access to the region of said guidcways from the opposite surface of said cover, said body being formed, in registry with said keyhole, with cam surface inclining at an angle of less than er to the axis of said bolt, away from said cover edge, and merging with another surface substantially perpendicular to said bolt axis.
5. The combination of claim 3 in which said spring means is a coiled spring sleeved on said shank and confined between said body and said second guideway.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,065,358 Hanson June 24, 1913 1,614,781 Ehret Jan. 18, 1927