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Publication numberUS2693314 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 2, 1954
Filing dateJul 3, 1953
Priority dateJul 3, 1953
Publication numberUS 2693314 A, US 2693314A, US-A-2693314, US2693314 A, US2693314A
InventorsHunter Clyde W
Original AssigneeHunter Clyde W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Door controlled mailbox signal
US 2693314 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 2, 1954 I c w, HUNTER 2,693,314

DOOR CONTROLLED MAILBOX SIGNAL Filed July 3, 1953 l2 INVENTOR.

CLYDE. W. Hum-ER.

BY v

2Q .53 qq qo LL q United States Patent DOOR CONTROLLED MAILBOX SIGNAL Clyde W. Hunter, Seattle, Wash.

Application July 3, 1953, Serial No. 365,845

4 Claims. (Cl. 232-35) This invention relates to mailbox signal flags andmore particularly to a signal flag that is held down while the mailbox door is closed and is automatically raised to signaling position when the door is opened to place mail in the mailbox.

It is among the objects of the invention to provide an improved mailbox signal assembly which can be mounted on a conventional mailbox with no material modification of the mailbox construction; which includes a movably mounted signal flag that is held down in nonsignaling position by the mailbox door while the door remains closed and is automatically raised to signaling position when the door is opened to place mail in the mailbox; which permits the door to be closed while the flag is left in raised position; which includes a housing enclosing the flag raising mechanism of the assembly against the weather and against tampering; and which is simple and durable in construction, economical to manufacture, easy to install, and positive and reliable in operation.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent from a consideration of the following description and the appended claims in conjunction with the accompanying drawing wherein:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a conventional mailbox with a signal flag assembly illustrative of the invention operatively mounted thereon;

Figure 2 is a fragmentary cross sectional view on a somewhat enlarged scale on the line 22 of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a cross sectional view on the line 33 of Figure 2; and

Figure 4 is a cross sectional view similar to Figure 2, but showing the parts of the assembly in a different operative position from that illustrated in Figure 2.

With continued reference to the drawing, the mailbox, generally indicated at 10, is of well known or conventional shape having a flat bottom, spaced apart and substantially parallel flat sides, one of which is indicated at 11, a partly cylindrical top portion arched upwardlybetween the sides, and a door 12 disposed in closing relationship to the open end of the box and pivotally connected at its respectively opposite sides and near the lower edge thereof to the corresponding side walls of the box near the lower corners of the side walls at the open end of the box. The door is releasably held in closed position by a suitable spring latch mechanism 13, one part of which is secured to the top of the box, and the other part of which is secured to the door at the top end of the door, and the door is provided with a flange 14 extending along the side edges and the top edge thereof. At a location ad-' jacent one of the pivotal connections, as indicated at 15, between the door and the mailbox, the door flange 14 is oifset to provide an abutment formation 16 for a purpose to be presently disclosed.

The signal flag assembly of the present invention comprises a housing, generally indicated at 18, including flat end walls 19 and 20 of circular shape disposed in spaced apart and substantially parallel relationship to each other and a side wall 21 of substantially cylindrical shape extending marginally around the end walls of the housing. The end wall 19 is preferably permanently secured to the side wall 21 of the housing, while the outer end wall 20 is detachably secured to the housing by a screw 22 extending through a hole in the end wall 20 and threaded into a hole in the inner end wall 19.

The inner end wall 19 is disposed adjacent the side of the mailbox on which the device is mounted, a layer 24 of insulated material being preferably interposed be- 2,693,314 Patented Nov. 2, 1954 of the mailbox, and the end wall 19 is provided with outwardly projecting and oppositely disposed apertured lugs or ears 25 and 26 through which screws 27 and 28 respectively extend, and are threaded into screw holes in the wall of the mailbox to rigidly secure the housing onto the mailbox.

T he annular side wall 21 of the housing is provided with an elongated, closed slot 30 extending circumferentially thereof through an angle of approximately 90 degrees and is provided opposite the slot 30 with an opening 31 of less angular extent than the slot.

A signal flag 32' including a stem 33 in the form of a fiat metal strip having substantially parallel side edges and a circular enlargement 34 on one end of the stem extends at its other end through the slot 30 in the side wall of the housing 18 and is pivotally connected near this end to the housing interiorly of the housing by a pivot pin 35 extending through an aperture in the stem and secured at one end to the end wall 19 of the housing. This pivotal connection provides freedom of swinging movement of the signal flag 32 relative to the housing through an angle of approximately 90 degrees between is in its substantiallyhorizontal, nonsignaling position,

as illustrated in Figure l, the spring 36 is distorted and exerts a resilient force on the stem 33, urging the stem in a direction from the corresponding end of the slot 30 to the opposite end of the slot and to its substantially vertical, signaling position. The corresponding end of the slot 30 provides a stop which limits movement of the signal flag 32 by the spring 36 toward the vertical position of the signal flag.

A bell crank lever 40 extends through the opening 31 in the side wall 21 of the housing, and is pivotally mounted at one end on the spring anchor pin 38. This anchor pin is mounted in a U-shaped clip 51 secured to one end of a leaf spring 52, the other end of which is secured to the annular wall of the housing at a location spaced from the pin 38.

This lever 40 has a leg 41 of inverted, V-shape disposed within the housing, and a straight leg 42 projecting out of the housing to the abutment formation 16 on the mailbox door and disposed at an angle to the leg 41.

A latch dog 44 is pivotally mounted on the leg 41 1 of the lever 40 adjacent the proximal end of the leg 42 dog 44 away from the adjacent end of the stem. As

tween this end wall of the housing and the adjacent side long as the mailbox door 12 remains closed, however, the abutment formation 16 bearing on the outer end of the lever leg 42 holds this leg against such outward movement, and holds the latch dog 44 in latching engagement with the adjacent end of the flag stem 33, so that the spring 36 cannot raise the flag to its signaling position.

When the door 12 is opened to place mail in the mailbox, the pressure of the abutment formation 16 against the outer end of the lever leg 42 is relieved, and the lever 40 then swings about its pivotal connection with the pin 38, the leg 42 moving outwardly of the housing, and the dog 44 moving away from the adjacent end of the stem 33 and freeing the stem to be swung about the pivot pin 35 by the spring 36 to the. raised position of the signal flag. After the flag has been raised by the opening of the door, the door can be reclosed without interference by the signal flag mechanism, the parts then4being in the *operative position illustrated in Figure 1 The flag can be lowered to its substantially horizontal, nonsignaling position by manual pressure on a tab 45 provided by bending a portion or the flag enlargement 34 to a position substantially perpendicular to the remainder of the enlargement. This manual pressure overcomes the force or the spring 36 and, :as the end of the stem 33 adjacent the dog 44 contacts the dog, the dog is tilted about its pivotal connection 46 with the lever 40, permitting the adjacent end of the stem to pass the dog. The dog is resiliently urged to its stem engaging position by a longitudinally curved, flat spring 47 secured at one end to the side wall 21 of'th'e housing 18, as indicated at 48, and having its opposite end portion in engagement with the ad acent side'or' the dog. As soon as the end of the lever passes the adjacent end of the dog '44, the spring 47 snaps the dog back to its. lever engaging position, the tilting movement, of the dog to this position being limited by the engagement of the end of the dog remote from the stem 33 with the adjacent portion of the leg 41 of the lever 40, as indicated at 49.

After the flag has been manually reset to its nonsignaling position, it will remain in this position until the door 12 is again opened.

A rain or weather guard '50, in the form of an elongated strip a-rcuately curved longitudinally thereof is mounted at a location intermediate its length on the stem 33 adjacent the side wall 21 of the housing and extends partly around the housing side wall in covering relationship to the slot 30 .in the housing side wall, so that rain, snow or sleet cannot enter the housing through the slot 30 and moisture will be prevented from entering the housing and freezing therein to render the mechanism inoperative.

The invention may be embodied in other specific'forms without departing from the spiritor essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come withinthe meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are, therefore, intended to be embraced therein.

What is claimed is:

l. A mailbox signal assembly comprising a housing adapted to be mounted on one side of a mailbox adjacent the mailbox door and having a closed slot in the wall thereof and an opening opposite said slot, a signal flag having a stem extending into said housing "through said slot and pivotally connected adjacent one end thereof to said housing internally of the housing for swinging movements through an angle of approximately 90 degrees relative to said housing, spring means mounted in said housing and engaging said stem resiliently urging said stem to a position at one end of said "slot corresponding to the signaling position of said signal flag, said stern being movable by manual pressure thereon toward the other end of said slot against the force of said spring, a lever extending through said opening into said housing and pivotally connected atone end to said housing internally of the latter, a dog pivotally mounted on said lever within said housing and engaging said one end of said stem to hold the latter in position adjacent said other end of the housing slot against the force of said spring means, said lever being urged outwardly of said housing to release said dog from said stem by the spring pressure of said one end of the stem on said dog and being held against movement outwardly of said housing when the outer end thereof is engaged by an associated mailbox door, said dog being tiltable on said lever to permit said one end of said stem to pass the dog when the stem is manually moved from said one end toward said other end of said housing slot and a spring engaging said dog and resiliently urging the dog to its stem engaging position relative to said lever.

2. A mailbox signal assembly comprising .a housing adapted to be mounted on one side of a mailbox adjacent the mailbox door and having a closed slot in the wall thereof and an opening opposite said slot, a signal flag having a stern extending into said housing through said slot and pivotally connected adjacent one end thereof to said housing internally of the housing for swinging movements through an angle of approximately 90 degrees relative to said housing, spring means mounted in said housing and engaging said stem resiliently .urging said stem to a position at one end of said slot corresponding to the" signaling position of said signal flag, said stem being movable by ,manual pressure thereon toward the other end of said :slot against the force of said spring, a lever extending through said opening into said housing and pivotally connected at one end to said housing internally of the latter, a dog pivotally mounted on said lever within said housing and engaging said one end of said stem to hold the latter in position adjacent said other end of the housing slot against the force of said spring means, said lever being urged outwardly of said housing to release said dog from said stem by the spring pressure of said one end of the stem on said dog and being held against movement outwardly of said 1 housing when the outer end thereof is engaged by an associated mailbox door, said dog being tiltable on said lever to permit said one end of said stem to pass the dog when the stem is manually moved from said one end toward said other end of said housing slot, a spring engaging said dog and resiliently urging the dog to its stemengaging position relative to said lever, and a rain guard'inthe form of a longitudinally curved strip mounted intermediate its length on said stem adjacent said housing and extending partly around said housing in covering relationship to said housing slot.

.3. A mailbox signal assembly comprising a housing adapted to be mounted on a mailbox adjacent the mailbox door, a signal flag having a stem pivotally mounted near one end thereof within said housing and extending outwardly of the housing and movable relative to the housing between two limiting positions, a spring in said housingresilient'ly urging said stem to one of said limiting positions relative to said housing, said stem being I manually movable to the other of said limiting positions against the force of said spring, a lever pivotally mounted at one end in said housing and projecting from said housing for engagement by an associated mailbox door to hold the lever in a predetermined position relative to the'housing, a latch dog pivotally mounted on said lever within said housing and engaging the adjacent end of said stem when said stem is in said other limiting position to preclude movement of said stem by said spring to said one limiting position as long as said lever is held in said predetermined position relative to said housing and freeing said stem for movement to said one limiting position when said lever is released to move away from said predetermined position relative to the housing, said latch dog being tiltable on said lever for the passage of the adjacent end of said stem past said latch dog when the stem is moved from said one to said other limiting position while said lever is held in said predetermined position relative to said housing, and a spring engaging said latch dog and resiliently urging the latch dog to its stern engaging position relative to said lever.

4. A mailbox signal assembly comprising a support adapted to be mounted on a mailbox adjacent the mailbox door, a signal flag having a stem pivotally mounted near one end thereof on said support and movable relative to the support between two limiting positions, a spring connected between said support and said stem resiliently urging 'sa'id stem to one of said limiting positions 'relati-ve'to said support, said stern being manually movable -to the other of said limiting positions against the force of said spring, a lever pivotally mounted on said support and engageable at one end by an associated mailbox door to hold the lever in a predetermined position relative to the support, a latch dog pivotally mounted on said lever and engaging the adjacent end of said stem when said stem is in said other limiting position to preclude movement of said stem by said spring to said one limiting position as long as said lever is held in said predetermined position and freeing said stem for movement to said one limiting position when said lever is released to move away from said predetermined position, said latch dog being tiltable on said lever for the passage of the adjacent end of said stem past said latch dog when the stem is moved from said one to said other limitingposition while said lever is held in said predetermined position, and a spring engaging said latch dog and resiliently urging the latch dog to its stem engaging position relative to said lever.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Name

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2484718 *Apr 3, 1946Oct 11, 1949Mccullar David FRural mailbox
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2924376 *Jul 9, 1958Feb 9, 1960Johnson Edwin HMail box signal
US3034706 *Apr 30, 1959May 15, 1962Wing Dee ASignal for mail boxes and the like
US3084853 *Jan 8, 1962Apr 9, 196310 Hazel DellSignaling arrangement for a rural mailbox
US4065050 *Jan 27, 1977Dec 27, 1977Hunt Harrell ESignal device for rural type mailboxes
US4113170 *Jul 25, 1977Sep 12, 1978Hunsicker Monroe TRural mailbox delivery signal
US4202486 *Mar 14, 1979May 13, 1980Tipsword Wilbur MAutomatically signaling mailbox
US4365740 *Aug 25, 1980Dec 28, 1982Whitley John AMailbox signal or flag assembly
US4552302 *Jul 24, 1984Nov 12, 1985Rung Chester EMailbox with indicator flags
US4570846 *Dec 18, 1984Feb 18, 1986Morgrey Richard TMailbox signalling device
US4702411 *Sep 2, 1986Oct 27, 1987Yager James RSignaling apparatus for mailboxes
US5082170 *Jan 24, 1991Jan 21, 1992Goss D LeroyMailbox signal flag
US5454509 *May 2, 1994Oct 3, 1995Bellamy; Charles L.Mail box flag
US5865368 *May 30, 1996Feb 2, 1999Taylor; Frank R.Mail delivered indicator apparatus and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification232/35
International ClassificationA47G29/122, A47G29/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47G29/121
European ClassificationA47G29/12R2