US 2804263 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 27, 1957 D. FONDE MAIL DISPENSER Filed June 10, 1954 INVENTQR Dorothy Fonde ATTORNEY MAIL DISPENSER Dorothy Fond, Wilton, Conn.
Application June 10, 1954, Serial No. 435,768
2 Claims. (Cl. 232-45) This invention relates to mail dispensers for use with rural mailboxes.
The ample proportions of a rural mailbox are a mixed blessing. Although they are of sufiicient size to accommodate all normal articles sent through the mail, these deep receptacles make it sometimes quite diflicult to remove the mail tossed into them. This is particularly true where, as today, many box owners drive to their box location and remove the mail from the box while remaining in their car. Not only is it a long reach to the back of the mailbox, but there is always the danger of the car rolling away and injuring the arm reaching for the mail. There is therefore a need for a device which will facilitate the removal of mail from these mailboxes.
I have now devised a mail dispenser which meets this need and which, in addition, can be readily installed in the mailboxes now in use. The mail dispenser of my invention comprises a substantially flat base platform and a substantially fiat sliding platform supported thereon. The base platform is of such length and width as to fit within the mailbox. Thus, these dimensions must not exceed the length and width of the mailbox. The longitudinal sides of the base platform are provided with raised and inwardly projecting flange members. The sliding platform has a length not exceeding the length of the mailbox and has a width less than that of the base platform so that it may be positioned on top of the base platform in sliding engagement with the flange members of the latter. One end of the sliding platform is provided with an upright mail-retention wall and the other is advantageously provided with a handle member.
These and other novel features of the mail dispenser of my invention will be more fully understood by reference to the accompanying drawings in which-- Fig. 1 is a broken perspective view of the base platform of my mail dispenser;
Fig. 2 is a broken perspective view of the sliding platform of the dispenser;
Fig. 3 is a broken perspective view of the assembled mail dispenser; and
Fig. 4 is a front end view of another structural modification of the dispenser.
The mail dispenser of my invention may be readily fabricated from sheet metal, and for this reason the dispenser shown in Figs. 1 through 3 is provided with structural features amenable to stamping from sheet metal. The base platform 9 shown in Fig. 1 comprises a sub stantially flat body portion 10 having a length slightly less than the length of the mailbox in which it is to be installed. The major portion of each longitudinal side of the base platform is bent upwardly and inwardly to ward the other so as to define raised and inwardly projecting flange members 11. It will be understood, however, that such flange members may be provided on the sliding platform instead of on the base platform. The terminal portions of the longitudinal sides of the base platform 9 are advantageously left flat so as to provide laterally projecting cars 12 having a transverse span subnited States PatentO 2,804,263 Patented Aug. 27, 1957 stantially equal to or slightly greater than the inner width of the mailbox. The central portion of each longitudinal side of the base platform is advantageously raised vertically, but not bent inwardly, so as to provide upright stops or lugs 13.
The sliding platform shown in Fig. 2 comprises a substantially fiat body portion 14 having a length not exceeding the length of the interior of the mailbox and having a width slightly less than the width of the base platform 9 between the upright wall portions of the flange members 11. At one end of the body portion 14 there is provided an upstanding wall 15 having a width less than the distance between the innermost edges of the flange members 11 on the base platform 9. The lateral edges of the upstanding wall 15 are advantageously provided with outwardly extending lugs 16 whoselmaximum span is at least as great as the distance between the two upstanding stops 13 poistioned near the central portion of the base platform 9. The other end of the sliding platform 14 is provided with a handle member 17 such, for example, as an upwardly bent tab of the sheet metal from which the platform is made.
The complete assembly of these two main parts of my mail dispenser is shown in Fig. 3. T 0 effect this assembly, the forward end of the sliding platform 14 shown in Fig. 2 is positioned on top of the rearward end of the flat base platform 9 shown in Fig. 1. The sliding platform 14 is then moved forward with its lateral edges under the flange members 11 of the base platform. When the sliding platform 14 has been advanced to a position sub stantially coextensive with the base platform 9, therewill result a mail dispenser which can be readily mounted in operative position within a conventional rural mailbox 18. Inasmuch as these mailboxes are generally provided with an inwardly projecting flange 19 around their front end, the eifective width of the resulting opening at the front of the mailbox is less than its internal width. Thus, by tilting my mail dispenser about its longitudinal axis so that one side is higher than the other, the entire assembly will readily enter the front of the mailbox so that it can be completely inserted within the interior of the box. After the dispenser assembly has been positioned within the box, it is lowered into horizontal position resting on the bottom of the mailbox. .Inasmuch as the span of the front cars 12 on the base platform 9 is greater than the front opening of the mailbox between its front flanges 19, the base platform will remain in position within the box. I have also found it advantageous to make the span of the two pairs of cars 12 at the front and rear ends of the base platform slightly greater than the interior width of the mailbox so that some pressure must be exerted to force the base platform down into its horizontal position against the bottom of the box. The resulting force-fit between the ears 12 and the sidewalls of the box will thus effectively lock the base platform in operative position so that it will resist any tendency for the rearward end of the base platform to tilt upwardly when the sliding platform is pulled forward.
In its mail-receiving position within a mailbox, the sliding platform 14 is directly above and generally in registry with the base platform 9. In this position, the upright wall at the rear of the sliding platform 14 forms a false rear wall for the mailbox. When the box user opens the front door of the mailbox, the sliding platform 14 may be readily pulled forward by means of the handle member 17. If the dispenser is provided with the steps 13 and the projecting lugs 16 described hereinbefore, or with any other equivalent motion-limiting device, the sliding platform will come forward only as far as these limiting devices permit. This limited outward movement of the sliding platform, if provided, is nevertheless suffieient to bring all mail within easy reach from the front of the box without excessive outward projection of the forward end of the sliding platform. After the mail has been removed from the sliding platform, the
platform is then pushed back into its mail-receiving posi-' alsobe noted that the sliding platform 14 in Fig. 4 is provided with an advantageous strengthening element in the form of longitudinal ribs 20. As shown in Fig. 4, these ribs may project below the lower surface of the sliding platform 14, in which case the ribs 20' may also function as slide runners, or, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3, the
ribs may be struck up above the upper surface of the sliding platform 14.
The resulting combination of flanges 11 on the base platform 9 and the ribs 20 on t the sliding platform 14 imparts a high degree of strength and rigidity to the elements of my mail dispenser and thus permits fabrication of the dispenser from light gage sheet metal, plastic, or other construction material.
It will be readily appreciated, accordingly, that the mail dispenser of my invention can be installed without the use of any tools in any standard rural mailbox. The simplicity of this structure is such that it may be stamped and formed. from sheet metal, yet its structure is such that it will remain in its fixed position within the mailbox and will not tilt forward when the mail is pulled for- Ward to within easy reach. Thus, by the use of my novel mail dispenser all rural mailboxes may be readily converted to a form from which mail may be removed with the minimum of effort and with greater safety than has been possible heretofore. p
1. A mail dispenser assembly adapted to be inserted cater-cornered through the doorway of a rural mail box and to be thereafter secured in fixed operative position therein by being pressed downwardly to a horizontal position adjacent the floor of the mail box, said dispenser as sembly comprising a substantially flat base platform and a substantially fiat sliding platform, the base platform having a length and width approaching but not exceeding the interior length and width respectively of the mail box, the longitudinal sides of the base platform being provided with raised and inwardly projecting flange members and being further provided with outwardly projecting p" 2,804,263 a I,
ears the extremities of which span a distance slightly greater than the interior width of the mail box, the slid ing platform having a length not exceeding the interior length of the mail box and a Width slightly less than that of the base platform, one end of the sliding platform being provided with an upright mail-retention wall and the other end being provided with a handle member, the sliding platform being positioned on top of the base platform in sliding engagement with the flange members thereof.
2. A mail dispenser assembly adapted to be inserted cater-cornered through the doorway of a rural mail box and to be thereafter secured in fixed operative position therein by being pressed downwardly to a horizontal position adjacent the floor of the mail box, said dispenser assembly comprising a substantially flat base platform and a substantially fiat sliding platform, the base platform having a length and width not exceeding the interior length and width respectively of the mail box, the longitudinal sides of one of said platforms being provided with flange members projecting substantially perpendicular to the plane of said platform and thence inwardly toward one another, the other platform having a length not exceeding the interior length of the mail box and a width slightly less. than the distance spanning the perpendicular portions of the flange members, one end of the sliding platform being provided with an upright mail-retention wall. and the other end being provided with a handle member, the sliding platform being positioned on top of the base platform in sliding engagement therewith by the sliding engagement of the flanges of one platform with the lateraledges of the other platform, the base platform being provided with positioning means adapted to maintain said platform in fixed position within the interior of the mail box when the dispenser assembly is pressed into a horizontal position adjacent the floor of themail box after being inserted therein.
References Cited in the file or this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 462,224 Strong Oct. 27, 1891 1,139,491 Coon May 18, 1915 1,222,753 Gareau Apr. 17, 1917 1,483,077 Cole Feb. 12, 1924 1,640,452 Knowlton Q. Aug. 30, 1927 r 1,702,987 Wilson Feb. 19, 1929 2,239,618 Muirhead Apr. 22, 1941