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Publication numberUS2926910 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 1, 1960
Filing dateJul 11, 1957
Priority dateJul 11, 1957
Publication numberUS 2926910 A, US 2926910A, US-A-2926910, US2926910 A, US2926910A
InventorsSamuel W Martin
Original AssigneePitney Bowes Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mail stacking device
US 2926910 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 1, 1960 s. w. MARTIN 2,

MAIL STACKING DEVICE Filed July 11, 1957 s Sheets-Sheet 1 mg \KQ L1 in INVENTO ATTORNEY March 1960 s. w. MARTIN 2,926,910

MAIL STACKING DEVICE Filed July 11, 1957 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENT R 5amue/ W off/ 1 ATTORNEY March 1, 1960 s. w. MARTIN 2,926,910

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INVENT R Jdrf/u/ 14/- 4/7 ATTORNEY United States Patent MAIL STACKING DEVICE Samuel W. Martin, Weston, Conn., assignor to Pitney- Bowes, Inc., Stamford, Conn., a corporation of Delaware Application July 11, 1957, Serial No. 671,254

4 Claims. (Cl. 271-87) This invention relates to letter stacking means in a mail cancelling machine and more particularly to means wherein both long letters and short letters are stacked simultaneously.

Heretofore, the various attempts to automatically stack letters necessitated preliminary hand sorting and separating steps wherein short or long letters were individually processed in a cancelling and stacking machine. Moreover, no provision had been made in the past for maintaining the trailing end of the last letter in the stack out of the path of travel of a subsequent letter moving toward said stack.

In its broadest aspect, this invention provides a machine for stacking letters of various lengths simultaneously. This stacking device includes means for advancing letters toward an end stop one at a time and for also urging them toward a supporting or backing plate, together with means for holding the trailing edges of each of the stacked letters out of the path of travel of an oncoming letter. In addition, this trailing edge letter holding means may also function to move letters toward the end stop so that the leading edges of all the envelopes are aligned against the endstop.

One feature of this invention therefore, is the provision of means for automatically stacking both long and short letters simultaneously in a mail cancelling machine.

Another feature is the provision of means which automatically lines up the leading edges of letters of various lengths and maintains them compactly bunched in the stacking device.

Various other features and objects will readily suggest themselves to those versed in the related art.

For purposes of illustration and explanation, the invention is shown in detail in its preferred form in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Fig. 1 is a plan view of one embodiment of the cancelling and letter stacking machine;

Fig. 2 is a partial plan view of the stacking mechanism showing a first letter preparatory to being advanced by the star wheel;

Fig. 3 shows one letter in place in the stacker with a portion of its trailing longitudinal bottom edge bearing on a diagonal feed aligning belt;

Fig. 4 shows a plurality of letters progressively advancing against the stacker end stop; and

Figs. 5 and 6 show further stacking of variously sized and shaped letters in the stacking mechanism.

In connection with the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the various shafts, drive wheels, belts, etc. are driven by suitable gearing from a common source of power, not shown, whereby the various driven parts will turn in a predetermined manner.

ln the embodiment of the invention shown in the draw ings, a feed table 10 is provided with a feed hopper, Le. a magazine or letter storage rack 11 which may be fed by hand or automatically. At the sorting table a plurality of letters E of different kinds and sizes, such as long and short letters, letters of varying thicknesses and the like are manually placed on a conveying belt portion B so that the long edges thereof rest on the belt, the letters being positioned with the stamps toward their leading edges so that the cancelling machine can imprint and cancel the stamp regardless of the size of the envelope.

An angularly disposed section 13 of a guide member 12 temporarily arrests the movement of the lower portion of the bunched letters in magazine 11. Some of the fore most letters of the bunched letters bear against the curved part 17 of adjustable guide strip 18 while the foremost and adjacent letter engage the periphery of a restraining or separator roller 15.

The roller 15 has a frictional contacting surface and is driven in a reverse direction to the normal direction of letter feed, which prevents the feeding of all except the foremost letter in the direction of the cancelling and stacking devices. A feed roller 14 having a friction surface 19 cooperates with the restraining roller 15, in advancing the foremost letter into the cancelling machine. After the foremost letter has advanced beyond the rollers 14 and 15, the next succeeding letter is engaged by the rubber surface 19 of the feed wheel 14 and thus one at a time the letters are fed into the cancelling machine. A second driven feed roller 14a assists in advancing the foremost letter toward the feed roller 14.

Driven feed rollers 20 and 21 pass the letter between the impression or platen roller 22 and the printing roller or die 23 and after postmarking and stamp cancelling, the;

letters are engaged between driven discharge rollers 30 and 31 and advanced along a deck plate D in front of a star wheel 51 by means of which they are pushed out of their determinate path and stacked on a table or tray 60.

In each case the various feed rollers, idler rollers and belts are appropriately mounted on spindles and the like where necessary and are driven by suitable gearing, belting and the like from a central power source. Impression roller 22 is preferably biased as by spring 22a to cause die 23 supplied with ink by inking roller 23a to suitably print or cancel out the stamp on the letter.

The cancelling mechanism is automatically started by the tripping of a lever actuated by the leading edge of each letter passing through the cancelling device. This structure is well known in the art and hence its manner of actuating the cancelling die by cooperation with the leading edge of the letter has been frequently described and need not be described herein. Subsequently the cancelled letters are propelled by rollers 30, 31 toward the left and into the stacking device 50.

After passing through the cancelling machine the letters, traveling rapidly in spaced relation, move along guide strip 62 to a stacking position. Associated with the stacking mechanism is a star wheel 51 suitably driven to rotate in proper relation to the feed and cancelling rollers, and suitably positioned to operate in proper relation to both long and short letters while fed simultaneously.

Recesses 51a in the star wheel 51 are arranged to receive the leading edge of one letter while a finger portion 51b thereof serves to push the previous letter outward and away from the star wheel 51.

The guide plate 62 has a bent end 66 which is substantially parallel to a backing plate 63 to form a divergent throat into which the leading edges of the letters move as urged by the star wheel. The star wheel 51 by its actuating fingers 51b will cause each letter to take a position substantially parallel with the backing plate 63, and thus each letter is deflected out of the way of the next suc ceeding letter.

Each deflected letter is also frictionally engaged on its bottom edge by the surface of a continuously moving belt, the upper reach of which projects through an opening 71 in the tray 60. This serves to hold the trailing Patented Mar. 1, 1961) 3 edges: of the stacked letters out of the path of the sub sequently added oncoming letters. With this arrangement also the letters are rapidly and orderly stacked with their leading edges in alignment. The backing plate 63 is carried by a bearing 64 which is adapted to slide along a support rod 64a.

As successive letters are fed through the stacking device, the successive pushing of the fingers of the star wheel impart pressure to the movable backing plate 63, forcing the bearing 64 to move along the rod 64a thereby effecting movement of the backing plate to provide room for the insertion of additional subsequent letters.

7 It is thus seen that the cancelling mechanism advances the envelopes through the cancelling machine in a predetermined spaced relation and feeds them one at a time to the stacking apparatus. In each case, with the passage of each letter through the cancelling machine, the die23 will rotate one revolution irrespective of the length of-the'letter and imprint a cancellation mark at a fixed and predetermined position from the leading edge of each of the respective letters passing therethrough. At the completion of each revolution a recessed portion 23b of the cancelling die 23 will permit the unobstructed passage of a letter therepast.

The belt 79 is disposed angularly to the direction of travel of the stacked letters so that the said letters are also caused to slide'individually and continuously endwise by the belt until arrested against end stop 65. Thus all the letters, regardless of their length, are finally aligned with their leading edges against the end stop 65.

Another belt 72 may be included in the stacker tray 69 at a distance beyond the belt 70 for the purpose of relieving stacking pressure after the letters pass the terminal endof the belt 70.

While inorder to comply with the statute the invention is described in language which is rather specific as to structural features and arrangements, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the specific details shown, but that the means and method herein disclosed comprises the preferred of several modes of putting the invention into effect, and the invention is therefore claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the scope of the language employed in the appended claims.

Whatis claimed is:

1. Ina device for stacking letters of various lengths, means to feed letters in sequence to said device, a frame including a plate for supporting letters on their lower longitudinal edges; an end stop in the path of the leading edges of the letters; continuously rotating means having fingers engageable with the back surface of each letter tourgethe trailing edges thereof out of the way of the next succeeding letter and to a stacked position; and a movingfrictio'nal surfaced belt" in the path of and engageableby the lower trailing edges of each of said stacked letters to continue the'mov'ement of each successive letter out of the path of oncoming letters and for urging the leading edges of the letters against the end stop.

2. A device for stacking mixed long and short letters after cancelling a mail cancelling machine, a frame including adeck plate for supporting letters on their longitudinal edges; means for advancing letters one at a time edgewise along a determinate path to a stackingposition on said deck plate; a stacker backing plate angularlycon-verging in the direction of and toward the path of travel of letters being fed, said stacker plate being slidable in a direction at right angles to the direction of travel of the letters; means for pushing the letters one at a time away from said determinate path of travel and toward" the backing plate; an end stop against which the leading edges of the letters are tobe aligned; a guide plate for maintaining the letters in upright position between the stacker plate and the pushing means, said guide plate having a bent end substantially parallel to the backing plate to form a throat for the leading edges of the letters and to cause each letter to take a position substantially parallel to the stacker plate with its trailing edge out of the way of the next succeeding letter; and means positioned to engage the letters of mixed long and short lengths for individually and continuously urging the stacked letters on the deck plate away from each incoming letter fed by the advancing means.

3. A device for stacking mixed long and short letters after cancelling in a mail cancelling machine, a frame including a deck plate for supporting letters on their lonitudina1 edges; means for advancing letters one at a time edgewise along a determinate path to a stacking position on said deck plate; a stacker backing plate angularly converging in the direction of and toward the path of travel of letters being fed, said stacker plate being slidable in a direction at right angles to the direction of travel of the letters; means for pushing the letters one at a time away from said determinate path of travel and toward the backing plate; an end stop against which the leading edges of the letters are to be aligned; a guide plate for maintaining the letters in upright position between the stacker plate and the pushing means, said guide plate having a bent end substantially parallel to the backing plate to form a throat for the leading edges of the letters and to cause each letter to take a position substantially parallel to the stacker plate with its trailing edge out of the Way of the next succeeding letter; and a driven belt positioned to be engaged by the lower edges of letters of mixed long and short lengths for individually and continuously urging the stacked letters on the deck plate away from each incoming letter fed by the advancing means.

4. A device for stacking mixed long and short letters after cancelling ina mail cancelling machine, a frame including a deck plate for supporting letters on their longitudinal edges; means for advancing letters one at a time edgewise along a determinate path to a stacking position on said supporting plate; a stacker backing plate angularly converging in the direction of and toward the path of travel of letters being fed, said stacker plate being slidable in a direction at right angles to the direction of travel of the letters; means for pushing the letters one at a time away from said determinate path of travel andtoward the backing plate; an end stop against which the leading edges of the letters are to be aligned; a' guide plate for maintaining the letters in upright position between the stacker plate and the pushing means, said guide plate having a bent end substantially parallel to the backing plate to form a throat for the leading edges of the letters and to cause each letter to take a position substantially parallel to the stacker plate with its trailing edge out of the way of the next succeeding letter; and an angularly disposed driven belt positioned to be engaged by the lower edges of letters of mixed long and short lengths for individually and continuously urging the stacked letters on the supporting plate away from each incoming letter fed by the advancing means, and urging the leading edges of the letters against the end stop.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 535,983 Ethridge et al Mar. 19, 1895 1,035,716 Lynch et al. Aug. 13, 1912 1,538,999 Mitchell et al. May 26, 1925 2,845,267 Persson July 29, 1958

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US535983 *Apr 25, 1894Mar 19, 1895Charles FMail-marking machine
US1035716 *Feb 20, 1911Aug 13, 1912B F Cummins CompanyStacking mechanism for mail-matter.
US1538999 *May 26, 1925 Signal postal supply
US2845267 *Feb 19, 1957Jul 29, 1958Internat Postal Supply CompanyMail handling equipment
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2988355 *May 4, 1959Jun 13, 1961Libman Max LSingle letter feeding device
US3051480 *Sep 25, 1959Aug 28, 1962Vari Typer CorpBusiness machines
US3062531 *Dec 28, 1960Nov 6, 1962IbmForm handling apparatus
US3584869 *Jan 2, 1969Jun 15, 1971Hanley Postal Supply IncMail handling machine
US4068839 *Mar 4, 1977Jan 17, 1978International Business Machines CorporationSheet stacking apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification271/178
International ClassificationB65H29/14, B65H29/68, B65H29/40
Cooperative ClassificationB65H2701/1916, B65H2301/4214, B65H2404/653, B65H29/68, B65H2301/321, B65H29/40, B65H29/14
European ClassificationB65H29/14, B65H29/68, B65H29/40