US 2832529 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
E. BROWN 2,832,529
ANTI-THEFT DEVICE FOR APARTMENT HOUSE MAIL RECEPTACLES April 29, 1958 V 3 Sheets-sheaf. 1
Filed lay 6, 1954 ATTORNEY E. BROWN ,832,529
ANTI-THEFT DEVICE FOR APARTMENT HOUSE MAIL RECEPTACLES April 29, 1958 s Sheets-Shee t 2 Filed 6, 1954 ATTORNEY April 29, 1958 E. BROWN ANTLTHEFT DEVICE FOR APARTMENT HOUSE MAIL RECEPTACLES 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed May 6, 1954 United States Patent ANTI-THEFT DEVICE FOR APARTIVIENT HOUSE MAIL RECEPTACLES Eldridge Brown, Washington, D. C. Application May 6, 1954, Serial No. 427,950
1 Claim. (Cl. 232-25) The present invention relates to that general class of devices known as mail boxes of the type used primarily in apartment buildings and relates more particularly to an anti-theft attachment for such mail boxes.
The aforesaid type of mail box .generally consists of a plurality of individual mail compartments, each closed by its own individual door, secured by a lock, the key to which is retained by the addressee or owner. Associated with the individual mail compartments is a single opening through which the mailman can deposit the mail in any one or all of the individual compartments, said single opening being closed by a large door to which the mailman alone has a key. One of the defects of this type of mail box is the ease with which any one of the individual doors can be pried open and the mail pilfered. It has been found that the pilfering is usually done by someone living outside of the apartment building.
The primary object of the present invention is the provision of an attachment to the present mail box to make it more difiicult to pry open any of the individual compartment doors. I accomplish this object by providing a protective grille member which may be readily secured to existing mail boxes, said grille member extending across the multiple individual doors and serving to prevent any of the doors from being opened except by authorized persons. The grille is held in locked position and can be opened only by authorized persons having a key to the locking means holding the grille in position.
A further object of the invention resides in the provision of an anti-theft device for apartment house mail boxes which is of relatively simple construction, efficient in operation, attractive in appearance and which is relatively inexpensive to manufacture and install.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be obvious from the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Figure 1 is a front view of a conventional multiple mail box with the present invention applied thereto.
Figure 2 is a top plan view thereof.
Figure 3 is an end view taken on the line 3-3 of Figure 1.
Figure 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of Figure 1 with the locking member in place.
Figure 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of Figure 1.
Figure 6 is a portion of one of the end vertical looking bars.
Figure 7 is a top view thereof.
Figure 8 is a front view of a filler block and lock pad used with the locking bar of Figure 6.
Figure 9 is a top view thereof.
Figure 10 is a portion of an inner vertical locking bar.
Figure 11 is a top view thereof.
Figure 12 is a front view of a filler block and lock pad used with the locking bar shown in Figure 10.
Figure 13 is a top view thereof.
Figure 14 is an end view of a modified form of the invention as applied to a flush type of multiple mail box.
Referring to the drawings in detail, numeral 15 is used to broadly designate a conventional type of mail box and for illustrative purposes, I have shown two mail boxes adjoining each other. It will be obvious as the description progresses that the present invention is applicable to one or more mail boxes of the type illustrated. As shown, each of the mail boxes 15 comprises a box having a front panel 16, sides 17 and top and bottom 18 and 19 respectively. The bottom'is generally formed of wood and the other parts of metal. Arranged within the box 15 are a plurality of compartments, herein shown as seven in number, formed by a plurality of partition members, not shown. The partition members terminate substantially midway of the box, leaving the upper interior of the box completely open. A master door 20, hinged at 21, closes the upper compartment and carries a single lock controlled through key slot 22. The postman or letter carrier alone has the key to the master door.
Each of the lower compartments has its own individual door 23, hinged also at 21, and controlled by individual locks accessible through key slots 24. It will be apparent that each tenant has his own compartment for receiving mail and an individual key for the door to his compartment. Each lower door is generally provided with a sight opening 25 so that it may be determined by the individual whether there is any mail. in the box without opening the same. Each door is also generally provided with a narrow slot 26 through which calling cards or the like may be inserted in the absence of the box holder. Each door may also have means as indicated at 27 for placing an identification card with the box holders name or apartment number. Generally, the upper part of the front panel contains a push button 28 and telephone mouthpiece 29. p
The mail box structure defined above is more or less conventional and is shown to illustrate the novel structure forming the subject matter of the present invention. The two mail boxes shown in Figures 1. and 2 are iden tical to each other and are of the type that protrude from the wall upon which they are mounted.
The novel anti-shaft device shown in the modification applied to protruding mail boxes as illustrated in Figures 1 to 13 inclusive consists of a transverse angle bar 30 having a horizontal portion 31 and a shorter vertical portion 32. The bar 30 is of substantially the same length as the width of the mail box 15. Secured to the vertical portion 32 by rivets 33 is a fiat plate 34 to which is pivoted by means of a piano hinge 35 a second flat plate 36 to which is secured the grille member 37.
The grille member comprises a frame formed of upper and lower horizontal bars 38, 39 and vertical bars 40 and 41 suitably secured to each by welding or the like to form a rigid rectangular frame. Secured to the inner face of the frame by welding is a diamond grille 42. The size of the frame is such as to completely cover the width of the mail box to which it is applied and approximately the lower third of the mail box. As seen in Figure 1, when the grille is in place, the upper edge of the frame terminates just short of the slots 26. It will also be noted that the vertical bars 40 and 41 extend a short distance above the upper horizontal bar 38 for a purpose to be described.
Referring to Figures 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 and 11, it will be i seen that vertical bar 40 is in the form of an angle bar whereas vertical bar 41 is a flat bar. This is due to the fact that the invention is disclosed as applied to two adjoining mail boxes which generally bear against each other. It will be understood that when the present device is used with one multiple mail box, both vertical bars will assasas be formed of angle iron stock. Similarly, if more than two multiple mail boxes are placed side by side, the vertical bars of the inner grille member will both be of flat stock.
Referring to Figures 3, 4 and 5, the transverse bar is secured to the mail box by means of bolts 42 and screws 43. Looking means are provided for locking the upper part of the grille member 37 to the face of the mail box 15. The locking means consists of a filler block provided with apertures 45 to enable the block to be secured to the front panel of the mail box by suitable screws or bolts. The filler block 44 is further provided with a cylindrical barrel 46 having a vertical bore 47 for receiving a padlock 48 in a manner to be described. As seen in Figure 1, two blocks 44 are provided, one at each side of the mailbox and each is secured to the respective edge of the mail box at a point just below the top edge of each vertical bar 40 and 41. Each of the bars 44 and 41 is provided with an aperture 49 to receive the cylindrical barrels 46.'
To prevent loss of the two padlocks used for each mail box, a suitable chain 50 is provided. One end of the chain is secured in any suitable manner to the padlock and the other end of the chain is secured to a clip '1 affixed to each of the vertical bars.
The present invention has been described in connection with a mail box of the protruding type. However, the invention is equally applicable to mail boxes of the flush type. Referring to Figure 14, wherein is shown a mail box of the flush type, the wall of the apartment house foyer, indicated by numeral 52, is recessed to receive the mail box 53. The transverse bar 54 is similar to the transverse bar 30 except that the horizontal leg 31 is omitted. The vertical members 55 of the grille are made of flat stock instead of angle iron stock. In all otherrespects the details of construction are the same as described in connection with the first modification.
The manner of using the present anti-theft attachment is more or less apparent from the foregoing description. The attachment may be readily applied to existing mail boxes of the protruding or flush type. The owners of the individual mail box are furnished a key to their individual compartment and a key or keys to the tWo padlocks. To obtain access to his mail compartment, the individual removes the padlocks 48, and pivots the grille member downwardly to inoperative position. The individual then has access to his own individual door. Thereafter, the grille member is replaced to locking position and the padlocks applied. The present attachment does not interfore with the opening or closing of the large door 20 for depositing the mail into the individual compartments.
It will be readily apparent that the present device is well adapted to accomplish the objects of the invention enumerated above. While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed, it is to be understood that the inventive concept may be carried out in a number of ways. This application is, therefore, not to be limited to the precise details described, but is intended to cover all variations and modifications thereof falling within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claim.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:
In an apartment house mail receptacle comprising a plurality of lower individual door members and a single upper door, an anti-theft device comprising a bar member adapted to be permanently secured adjacent the lower edge of the mail receptacle, said bar extending substantially the full width of said mail receptacle, a grille member pivotally secured to said bar member and adapted to extend over and cover a substantial portion of the lower door members, said grille member comprising a rectangular frame, a wire mesh extending across said frame, upwardly directed vertical extensions at each side edge of the frame member, and locking means carried by said extensions for locking the grille member to the mail receptacle.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 449,371 Markell Mar. 31, 1891 693,770 Wright Feb. 13, 1902 753,302 Ogle Mar. 1, 1904 1,362,949 Lillard Dec. 21, 1920 1,554,862 Lightfoot Sept. 22, 1925 1,620,474 Krick Mar. 8, 1927 2,130,617 Dockham Sept. 20, 1938 2,164,855 Florence July 4, 1939