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Publication numberUS2859913 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 11, 1958
Filing dateAug 10, 1953
Priority dateAug 10, 1953
Publication numberUS 2859913 A, US 2859913A, US-A-2859913, US2859913 A, US2859913A
InventorsPaschke Henry A, Paschke William C
Original AssigneePaschke Henry A, Paschke William C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mail box flag
US 2859913 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 11, 1958 H. A. PASCHKE ETAL 2,859,913

MAIL BOX FLAG Filed Aug. 10, 1953 Ava/me;

/%zz/AW' C IDASC/VKE flrme/virs localities.

United States Patent MAIL BOX FLAG Henry A. Paschke, China Lake, Calif., and William C. Paschke, Fairbault, Minn.

Application August-10, 1953, Serial No. 373,347

2 Claims. (Cl. 23235) This invention relates to mail boxes and, more particularly, to a mail box flag which can be mounted upon a 'the number which were serviced inthe early days following the initiation of the United States rural delivery service.

'The mail carrier sorts mail at a central point such as a local post-office, tying the mail in'bundles for different This is for convenience in placing the mail in the boxes in a predetermined consecutive manner. It has long been the custom for rural residents to use mail boxes having a flag or other signal arm attached thereto to indicate to the mail carrier whether or not the mail box holds outgoing mail for pick-up. Thus, if there is 'no incoming mail and no outgoing mail on a particular day, there is no need for the mail carrier to make a stop at the mail box in question. This is particularly important where the mail carrier must get out of his vehicle and walk for a distance before he can arrive .at the mail box. Most mail boxes are now positioned at'the side .of highways for accessibility from the vehicle or by merely getting out of the vehicle and without the necessity of walking for any appreciable distance. However, where weather conditions such as snow drifts make it impossible for the rural mail carrier to approach closer than a given distance, it is extremely useful for him to know whether or not the trip is necessary. Furthermore, with the large number of mail boxes to service (often in the neighborhood of 300 mail boxes) the mere time and effort required in driving a vehicle up to the mail box, stopping the vehicle and opening the mail box cover can be a laborious task when multiplied by the large number of mail boxes. Where, through inadvertence, either the resident or the mail carrierneglects to return the flag to a lowered position, then the mail carrier must make a stop at the box the following day whether or not he has incoming mail. Very often, the mail carrier himself will neglect to lower the flag because it requires him to get out of his vehicle and manually depress the signal arm. One

of the common conventional types of flags requires the flag to be lifted up from a latched position before it can be rotated to a non-signal position. If the mail carrier is behind schedule, he may even deliberately neglect to lower the flag.

It is, therefore, a general object of this invention to ice 2 provide a simple and inexpensive flag for a mail box which will be automatically depressed at each use of the mail box, even when the flag is inadvertently left up either by the owner or the mail carrier.

More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide a mail box flag which, when in raised position, will always be lowered by opening the cover thereof but which will not interfere with the normal use and operation of the mail box.

Another object is to provide a signal device for a mail box which may be properly lowered by a mail carrier from within the cab of his vehicle without requiring him to get out of the vehicle.

A further object of the invention is to provide a positive acting signal flag for mail boxes which will be protected from the weather, remaining free in operation despite the formation of snow and ice in and around the mail ,box, and which will be releasably retained in either its upper or lower position by a novel mechanical cooperation in the same mechanism which automatically effects lowering of the flag.

These and other objects and advantages of our invention will more fully appear from the following description made in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to the same views and in which:

Fig. 1 is a side elevation of a conventional mail box having our signal flag mounted thereon, the normal closed position of the mail box and flag-signalling position being indicated in full line and the open position of the cover and lowered signal flag being indicated in dotted lines;

" 'Fig. 2 is a vertical section of the mail box showing -details of the flag mounting and taken on the line 22 'ofFig. 1; and

Fig. 3 is an exploded view of the various parts of our mail box flag including the mounting structure for attach- T ment to the body of the mail box and the cover thereof. Referring now more particularly to the drawing, our invention comprehends a signal structure combined with a conventional mail box having a housing 10 having a cover 11 in hinged relation therewith at 12' for outward and downward movement from the full line position to 'the dotted line position in Fig. l. The housing 10 and the cover 11 may be further provided with cooperative latch means 13 of conventional form as shown. The lower depending edges of the housing 10 are provided with ordinary flanges 14 which are so constructed as to prevent or discourage water from entering therein and rusting the bottom 15 of the housing 10. The cover 11 of i the conventional mail box likewise has a flanged side 16 which, when in closed position, is adapted to overlie an opening or doorway at the forward end of the housing 10.

Our mail 'box structure is provided with a special type of signal attachment which is indicated generally at 17. The signal attachment comprises a signal 18 such as a metal flag having a colored tab portion 19 for easy visibility and an arm connection 20 which extends in rigid attachment with the signal shifting and retaining mechanism 21, as shown in Figs. 1 and 3. A signal shifting and retaining mechanism 21 is, in turn, pivotally mounted at 22 to the housing of the mail box and has a linkage means 23 cooperatively attached to the signal shifting and retaining mechanism at one end and pivotally attached to the cover 11 at its other end.

More particularly, the signal shifting and retaining mechanism 21 comprises a detent and abutment-structure 24 as shown in Fig. 3, the structure being formed preferably of an inner plate 25 and an outer plate 26 as shown. The plates 25 and 26 have a hub member 27 mounted laterally therebetween and are further provided with an abutment member such as an interconnecting pin 28. A portion of the peripheral edges of the plates 25 and 26 are bridged as at 29 and other peripheral portions are left in open condition as at 30 for permitting the linkage means 23 to operate therein as will be subsequently described. A shield 31 may be formed adjacent the connection between the arm' 20 and the structure 24 for the purpose. of shedding water and preventing dust and snow from entering the mechanism during use.

The device can be pivotally mounted to the housing 10, or may be attached to existing boxes with an attaching clamp indicated generally at 32 and shown in exploded detail in Fig. 3. The mounting clamp comprises a pivot plate 33, and pivot mount .22 comprises pivot pin 34 in rigid connection therewith, the pin 34 being adapted to enter the hub 27 and permit pivotal swinging of flag 19 radially about the pivot pin 34. The pivot plate 33 is provided at its upper end with a reversely bent flange 35 and with another reversely bent flange 36 at its lowermost edge. An outwardly bent shield 37 may be formed at a suitable position to overlie the opening 30 of the detent and abutment structure when the flag 19 is in lowered position as shown in dotted outline in Fig. 1. The mounting clamp further has a strap 38 which is adapted to closely overlie the top of the housing 10 and extends over and downwardly to terminate in an out wardly extending flange 39 having a fastening element such as bolt 40 cooperatively extending to another strap 41 at a similar outwardly bent flange 42. The strap 41 terminates in a reversely bent flange 43 as shown. The strap 38 has a reversely bent flange 44 which is adapted to interfit with thereversely bent flange 35 on pivot plate 33. The entire mounting clamp may be attached to a conventional mail box by securing the reversely bent flange 36 underneath a depending flange 14 of the mail box housing 10 and securing the reversely bent flange 43 of strap 41 to the opposite depending flange 14 as shown in Fig. 2. The reversely bent members 35 and 44 are then interfitted and the fastening element 40 is drawn up so as to tighten and clamp the entire mount in position upon the housing 10.

The cooperating linkage 23 may be pivotally mounted to a pivot bracket 45 which, in turn, is adapted to be mounted upon the cover 11 by simply crimping upon the flange 16 thereof. The pivot bracket 45 may thus be provided with a reversely bent bottom edge 46 and a lateral car 47 having its outer edge 48 reversely bent as shown. The pivot bracket is then attached at a convenient position as shown in Fig. l and the reversely bent edges 46 and 48 are crimped against the corresponding bottom edge and side edge of the cover 11.

The linkage means 23 is pivotally connected to the cover 11 by means of an end connection at.49 with a pivot pin 50 which, in turn, is secured to the ear 47 of pivot bracket 45. The linkage means 23 has an elongated slot 51 and, in the form shown, may simply comprise a reverse bend 52 of the rod 23. The slotted area formed by the bent end of rod 52 is adapted to cooperate not only with the abutment pin 28, but also with detents 53 and 54 which may comprise simple indentations in the outer plate 26 as shown in Fig. 3. A spring blade 55 may be associated with the abutment pin 28 to main tain the rod 52 in resilient contact with the inner face of the plate 26 and, more particularly, in releasable contact with the detent off-sets 53 and 54.

In the use and operation of our mail box, the cover 11 is normally in closed position as shown in Fig. 1 and the flag 19 may be either in upstanding or reclining position, depending upon the circumstances. If the rural resident desires the mail carrier to pick-up mail from ..the :box, he raises. the flag 19 to the position shown in full lines in Fig. 1. When the mail carrier arrives, he can simply reach from the window of his vehicle and open the cover 11 to gain access to the mail in the housing 10. The opening of the cover 11 will cause the flag 19 to be lowered to the dotted line position. After removing mail and putting in incoming mail, if any, the carrier then closes the cover 11. It will be noted that the linkage rod 23 co-acts with the abutment 28 to pull the flag to its lowered position and then, at the lower position, permits the free opening and closing of cover 11 Without further shifting of the flag element. The elongated slot 51, however, remains in retaining relation with the detent offset 54 so as to prevent accidental raising of flag 19, as, for example, by the wind. It will be noted that when the flag 19 is lowered to the dotted position of Fig. 1, the detent 54, which is slightly elongated, will then extend in a direction generally forward and downwardly so. as to be insubstantial alignment with the slot 51 defined by the juxtaposed end portions of rod 23, which rod and slot 51 are disposed in an inclined position when the door 11 is opened, and which rod and slot 51 are disposed in a more nearly horizontal position when the door is closed, at which time a portion of the rod adjacent the terminal end thereof will engage the detent 54 and cause some yielding of the spring blade 55. The result is a restraining on the abutment structure to prevent swinging thereof about the pivot 22.

It is to be noted further that, when'the flag and cover 11 are in the full line position shown in Fig. 1, the elongated slot 51 will co-act with the detent off-set 53 so as to retain the flag in upstanding position against accidental lowering.

It may thus beseen that we have provided a novel mail box with signal attachment whereby the signal flag may be actuated by the simple opening of the mail box cover to depress the flag-from a signal to a non-signal position the same means which shift the flag also providing a releasable retaining means for holding the flag against accidental displacement both at its upstanding operating position and at its lowered non-operating position.

It will, of course, be understood that various changes may be made in the form, details, arrangement and proportions of the parts without departing from the scope of our invention which consists of the matter shown and described herein and set forth in the appended claims.

What we claim is:

1. A mail box signal attachment for a conventional mail box having a housing with a doorway at one end and a cover swingable outwardly therefrom, said signal attachment comprising a mounting attachable to the box, a flag structure pivotally connected to the mounting and having a flag member projecting generally radially therefrom, said structure having a linkage-shielding and receiving bifurcated lower end below the pivot, a link having one end swingably connected to the box cover and having in the other end, which extends into the bifurcated lower end of the structure, an elongated slot, an abutment within the bifurcated lower end of said structure and rigid therewith and projecting through the slot in the link, said structure also having a link-engaging detent radially disposed from the abutment and releasably holding the structure and link in substantially non-swingable relation to each other whereby to hold the flag member in a predetermined position until the abutment is swung about the pivot by longitudinal movement of the link.

2. A mail box signal attachment for a conventional mail box having a housing with a doorway at one end and a cover swingable outwardly therefrom, said signal attachment comprising, a flag member, a linkage shielding detent and abutment structure rigidly formed with said flag member. and pivotally mounted to the side of said mail box housing for swinging of the flag between an upstanding position and a lowered position, elongated linkage means having one end pivotally secured to the side of said cover and having an elongated recess adjacent the other end movably and swingably connected to said detent and abutment structure, the linkage engaging abutment of the structure being spaced from the mounting pivot thereof and the detent of said structure including means in radial alignment with said linkage engaging abutment and projecting transversely of, and resiliently engageable by, the linkage, said detent means restraining relative swinging between the linkage and said structure to resist accidental change of position of the flag member.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Klees Apr. 23, Payne Aug. 24, Fenner June 23, Petersen Sept. 15, Doppelhammer June 3, Fabis Feb. 21, Esten Apr. 15, Thomas May 23,

Kreitlow Jan. 4,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1264093 *Jun 19, 1917Apr 23, 1918Albert H SenstMail-box signal.
US1350515 *May 29, 1919Aug 24, 1920Richard Payne OsbornMail-box
US1543072 *Aug 7, 1924Jun 23, 1925Fenner Harriet EMail-box flag
US1823759 *Feb 24, 1930Sep 15, 1931Svend PetersenMail box attachment
US2421603 *Jan 6, 1945Jun 3, 1947John DoppelhammerMailbox signaling device
US2498260 *May 6, 1947Feb 21, 1950Fabis Bruno JSignal for mailboxes
US2592671 *Oct 26, 1949Apr 15, 1952Esten Edwin CAuxiliary mailbox flag
US2639856 *Mar 30, 1951May 26, 1953Thomas Seth HRural mailbox signal
US2698712 *Dec 19, 1949Jan 4, 1955Otto KreitlowRural mailbox signal mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3144986 *Mar 9, 1962Aug 18, 1964Hendrickson Ralph GMailbox signalling apparatus
US3331552 *May 25, 1966Jul 18, 1967Paul ShultzMailbox with automatic signal
US3343784 *Apr 21, 1966Sep 26, 1967Waldhaus Frank MMail indicator
US3467303 *May 8, 1967Sep 16, 1969Saatzer Helen DMailbox attachment
US3762632 *Aug 31, 1972Oct 2, 1973Voegeli HArticle holder for exterior of box for containing mail or the like
US3794240 *Jun 8, 1972Feb 26, 1974Myers DMail delivery signal device
US4190193 *Sep 27, 1978Feb 26, 1980Smith George TSelf-contained clamp-mounted pivotal arm mailbox signal device assembly
US4372481 *Nov 23, 1979Feb 8, 1983Benson Ronald KMailbox marking attachment
US4449663 *Sep 19, 1983May 22, 1984Schluter Harry CMailbox signal device
US4778103 *Dec 28, 1987Oct 18, 1988Milton NelsenSelf-contained mailbox signal device
EP2710933A3 *Jun 28, 2013Aug 13, 2014Burg-Wächter KgDevice for holding letters, packages and/or goods shipments
U.S. Classification232/35
International ClassificationA47G29/00, A47G29/122
Cooperative ClassificationA47G29/121
European ClassificationA47G29/12R2