US 2912925 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 17, 1959 RABINOW 2,912,925 7 CODE PRINTING AND SORTING STATION FOR MAIL Filed March 13, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet l PRINTER K 77MER mm E/VO/D C To 25% m I FSOLENO/O F Ill Ti &
J4me RA swan Noi. 17, 1959 J. RABINOW 2,912,925
CODE PRINTING AND SORTING STATION FOR MAIL Filed March 13, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 3mm (Z4005 RAB/Now Nov. 17, 1959 J. RABINOW CODE PRINTING AND SORTING STATION FOR MAIL 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 13, 1958 Jacoa RAB/Now United States Patent Dffice 2,912,925
Patented Nov. 17, 1959 a keyboard 2 and the letters 3 are presented to him by automatic machinery. A printer suitable for such ma- 2 912 925 chines is described in my co-pending patent application for Differential Pressure Envelope Printer, Serial No. CODE PRINTING AND SORTING STATION 719,133, filed March 4, 1958. The letters may be fed FOR MAIL to the operator by a vacuum pickofr' device 4 which is well-known to the art such as, for instance, is described Jacob 22:2 gfiggi fi ga ggfgz zfii g fifteen in Us. Patent No. 2,792,218, to F. Van Marle. The
operator reads the address and operates the keyboard Application March 1958, serial 721,131 10 so as to print on the back of the envelope a series of dots representing the address, usually in abbreviated form,
4 Clalms' (CL 101 2) as shown in my above-referred-to co-pending application.
He then pushes one of several keys 6 which operate a chute mechanism 7, shown in Fig. 2, that releases the This invention relat s t h a of pp y code marks letter into one of several stacks 8. In Fig. 1, I show to Pieces Of mail and of sorting these into Several 6916- a complete coding-sorting unit with its own output stacks. gories. One arrangement for dropping the letter after printing Th is a large of machinery used for the auteand for separating into the stacks is shown in Fig. 2.
matlc and semi-automatic sorting of letter mail. These Wh key 11 i depressed indicating that the operator machines generally break down into two classes: One, a t th l t t go i th outgoing stack 12, a l
in Whic a let e is read y an Operator and the Sorting noid 13 is energized which causes its armature 14 to machine is controlled by the operator so that the letter move up causing i 16 d 17 to i i on h lever reaches its correct destination. In such machines, gen- 18 tt h d t th rotary h ft 19, Thi shaft swings erally, an operator op a a y a d which controls the chute or gate 7which deflects the letter into the pocket a conveyor that distributes the mail. In another class 12, If one wants to separate h letter 0f automatic sorting machines the letters are marked four keys and four solenoids are necessary, as shown, y a code, generally consisting of printed dots, Which The ins 16, 17, etc., for each solenoid are so located are then read by photoelectric means. The information that the gate assumes the correct position as each key h ga h re is tr nsfer int some electronic memis pressed. The release of the letter initiates a cycle ory which controls the sorting machine that distributes t ll d by a ti 22 hi h permits a new letter to the mail. We are concerned, generally speaking, with drop in front of the printing station. For example, a
this second class of machinery except that this invenvacuum line can be made to open, sucking the letter tion combines some of the features of manual sort with against the face plate of the printer, as shown in my the automatic devices. co-pending application above referred to. Thereafter the In sorting mail i is g ner l y important to separate operator can start printing the new abbreviated address. the local fr m th tg g mail, and both of these from Fig. 3 shows the second embodiment of this invention airmail and other special letters at the earliest possible Thi embodiment how a thod f collecting th l tt moment. This is necessary because outgoing mail in not in individual stacks for each operator as shown in large cities has to make connections with various trains Fig. 1, but in master stacks 30 fed by a conveyor belt and airplanes while the mail for local distribution is 40 31 which collects the letters from many operators. In
generally sorted late at night, or early morning, long this embodiment the swinging gate 7 of each machine after the outgoing mail has left. It is a principal purinstead of dropping the letter directly into a receiving pose of this invention to provide a coding station where pocket drops it onto the moving belt 31. Above this human operators can mark envelopes and at the same belt there is a group of vertical partitions 33, 34, etc. time do a certain amount of sorting so as to expedite the which guide the letters into the correct stackers. At handling of mails. the receiving end of the machine there are conventional Another object is to provide a coding machine which stackers 30 such as are used in the post ofiice today In and without any attention on the part of the operator; It should be understood that such stackers are wellthls enables immediate sorting of 1118101 categories, parknown to the art and the details of their construction tlcularly those requlrlng special or expedited handling are not a part of the present invention The advantage While the objects sorted are referred to as letter mail, of having only a few ma or stackers is that an operator any objects which must be sorted and delivered to a machines can stand at one place, su plurality of predetermined destinations, and the terms the stackers, and in this way service a great many coding mail and letters are intended to include any such operators. It is also possible by this arrangement to have objects. the coding operators close together and to simplify their The specific nature of my invention, as well as other equipment. objects and advantages thereof, will clearly appear from While a letter separation into four stacks is shown, a a description of a preferred embodiment as shown in the larger number can, of course, be used. The swinging accompanying drawings, in which: gate, particularly in the design of Fig. 3 which uses the Fig. 1 is a sectional schematic view of a machine moving belt, can have many positions, and separations of according to the invention; the order of ten groups are entirely feasible Fig. 2 is a perspective detail view of a chute control While I so far have shown the separation being done mechanism for the machine of Fig. 1; entirely by manual control, that is, where the operator Fig. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment has to decide where to put the letter, automatic means of the invention; and to do this are possible as shown in Fig 4 Here a relay Fig. 4 is a schematic diagram of a control network network is used which automatically recognizes, from the for automatically sorting and printing. operation of the printing code, which of the stacks the Fig. 1 shows the general scheme of my machine. In letter is destined for. For example, if the operator is the embodiment shown in Fig. 1, an operator sits before sorting mail in Washington and presses only the key marked-P indicating that the letter is intended for the Pentagon, relay 41 connected to the P key will be energized so that the letter will be directed to the P stack without further efiort on the part of the operator, by actuating the P' s olenoid (see Fig. 2'). Similarly a bank of relays can be wired to 'keys 2 and 5 which are depressed to code the letter for zone 25 (in Washington all Governmentmail). Thus if the operator in Washington pressed key 2 followed by key 5, the letter will be sent directly to that stack without further attention, Relay 2 is a slow break relay; thus its contacts stay closed long enough to permit relay 5 to operate it the two are keyed in rapid sequence. The particular arrangement of such a function table depends on the distribution of mail in a particular city and many other factors. The examples merely show several of many possible ways of attaching electrical devices to the keyboard which Willnot .only'print a code on the back of an envelope but also control an initial sort -without an increase in the time of operation.
The advisability of this pre-sort can be understood when one remembers that about half of the mail originating in a typical large city is designated for points outside of the city and it is imperative that this mail be handled and sorted asquickly as possible. If no presort were used at the coding station, all of the letters would have to be passed into the automatic sorting machines thus cutting the efiective speed of the machine for outgoing mail in half. Since there is a good deal of time availablelater at night for sorting the bulk of the local mail, the pre-sort of the mail at the coding station enables the subsequent sorting machinery to operate exclusively on the outgoing mail first, thus greatly expediting the functioning of the post office.
The separation of airmail, registered, and other unique mail is also advantageous because these have to be handled in a special manner. The main feature of the invention is that not only is the operator able to act on a letter so as to convert the address into a form more suitable for machine handling, but his intelligence is also used for performing part of the sorting function.
Although the invention-has been described in connection with a mail handling apparatus, it will be apparent that the apparatus can also be adapted to many other articles and uses, such, for example, as the handling of checks in clearing house operations, and the distribution and addressing of any articles which require addressing, distribution and sorting.
It will be apparent that the embodiments shown are only exemplary and that various modifications can be made in construction and arrangement within the scope of my invention as defined in the appended claims.
1. A mail coding and sorting machine comprising an individual letter pickup device, means for feeding a stack of mail to said pickup device for picking up one letter at a time, 'a code printing device supplied with individual letters by said pickup device for printing a destination code on each such letter, an operator-controlled keyboard device for controlling the printing device to print the destination code on each letter, a plurality of sorting channels each having a letter-receiving input located adjacent the code printing device for receiving said individual letters after printing, and channel selector means controlled by said keyboard means for directing each letter into a selected one of said channel inputs after it has been printed.
2. The invention according to claim 1, said channel selector means comprising a gravity slide chute movable into a plurality of positions to direct a letter from the printing device toward any selected one of said channels, a selector means for moving said chute into respective ones of said positions, and operating means for said selector means controlled by said keyboard device.
3. The invention according to claim 2, said slide chute being fixedly mounted on a rotatable shaft for rotational movement into any one of said positions, said selector means comprising a plurality of individual motor means controlled by said keyboard device for respectively moving said shaft into said positions.
4. The invention according to claim 1, said channel selector means comprising electrical circuit means con trolled by the printing keys of the keyboard device according to a combinational characteristic of the destination code printed to select a particular channel.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS