Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2929490 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 22, 1960
Filing dateJun 20, 1958
Priority dateJun 20, 1958
Publication numberUS 2929490 A, US 2929490A, US-A-2929490, US2929490 A, US2929490A
InventorsMerrick W Stewart
Original AssigneeEmerson Radio & Phonograph Cor
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mail handling apparatus
US 2929490 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

M. W. STEWART MAIL HANDLING APPARATUS March 22, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet l Filed June 20, 1958 March .22, 1960 M. w. STEWART 2,929,490

MAIL HANDLING APPARATUS Filed June 20, 1958 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 1 N VENTOR Mae/GK Mk'wq/er ATTORNEYS March 22, 1960 M. w. STEWART MAIL HANDLING APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed June 20, 1958 INVENTOR WSH/mer J ATTORNEYS March 22, 1960 M. w. STEWART MAIL HANDLING APPARATUS Filed June 20, 1958 4 Sheets-Sheet 1L` ToMaToR J ATTORNEYS ngilv States Patent MAIL HANDLING APPARATUS Merrick W. Stewart, Silver Spring, Md., assignor to Emerson Radio & Phonograph Corporation, Jersey City, N l a corporation of New York Application June 20, 1958, Serial No. 743,386

20 Claims. (Cl. 198-33) The present invention relates to apparatus and systems for handling and stacking flat light articles and especially letters.

In our current economy the expeditious handling and processing of mail has become vital to the eicient conduct of business and communication. The volume of mail pieces has become so large as to encumber and literally swamp postal facilities, especially at the metropolitan post oliices handling many million pieces .0f mail daily. The problems of conveying, cancelling, sorting vand stacking this great volume of various shapes and -sizes of mail pieces have heretofore not been eiciently solved, resulting not only in delays of delivery of mail, but also uneconomic utilization of supplies, equipment and manpower.

The present invention is particularly adapted for use with (but is not limited to) mail handling apparatus described and claimed in the copending application Serial No. 686,529 of R. F. Blake, S. I. Goodman and I. I. Rudigier, for Automatic Mail Cancelling Apparatus filed September 26, 1957, copending application Serial No. 724,646, of I. Mathis for Automatic Mail Handling Apparatus led March 22, 1958, and copending application Serial No. 732,330 of S. l. Goodman and l. J. Rudigier, for Mail Handling Apparatus, led May l, 1958, all of which are assigned to the same assignee as the present application.

The apparatus of these prior applications is suitable for accepting a rapid stream of single mail pieces travelling at a high, substantially constant speed of the order of l() inches per second. The individual pieces of this stream of mail are oriented into a vertical plane with their longer edges horizontal, and may have the stamps carried on the front face or reverse face, at the top or at the bottom, or at the leading edge or trailing edge of the envelope. This single le stream of unfaced letter pieces enters cancelling apparatus which automatically applies a cancellation imprint at the exact position of the stamp on the envelope despite the fact that the stamps may occur at different positions on different letters and despite any unevenness of separation or repetition of letters in the stream. The single file stream of cancelled letter pieces enters a director unit which sorts the stream of letters into groups according to predetermined characteristics in response to electrical signals. The letters in any one group may have their stamps at a similar corresponding position in relation to the length of the envelope, i.e., either adjacent the leading edge or the trailing edge of the envelopes, regardless of Whether the stamp is on the front face or rear face.

The present invention is particularly concerned with converting a stream of high speed, irregularly spaced mail pieces into a uniform stack of mail pieces in response to electrical signals which may, for example, correspond to the face of the envelope that the stamp is on.

Another object of the present invention is to convert a vertically oriented, high speed, irregularly spaced P l* ce, 2,929,490

Paienied Mar. 22, 1aed 2 Y stream of mail pieces, with the stamps thereon all in the same corresponding position in relation to the length of the envelope, but randomly on the front or rear faces, into a faced and uniform stack in response to electrical signals.

By faced mail is meant that all envelopes are arranged the same way with the addresses upright on the front face thereof as viewed, placing the stamps generally in the upper right hand corner of the envelopes.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus that will accept an intermittent input flow of high speed, at, light articles, align these articles ,into a stack where all the articles are similarly positioned, and to allow the removal of the articles from the stack Without disturbing the stack and without causing any mal.- function of the apparatus.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide means that will convert a iluctuating input flow of at, light vertically oriented articles with each article having one face with predetermined characteristics thereon, into a uniform stack having the faces of the articles with the characteristics thereon all positioned similarly in response to electrical signals corresponding t0 the position of the predetermined characteristics.

These and other objects of the present invention Will become more fully apparent from consideration of the following description of a preferred embodiment, taken in conjunction with the appended drawings, in which Fig. l is a diagram showing a part of a general mail handling system incorporating the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a plan view of a preferred form of the present invention including both facer aud stacker units; s

Fig. 3 is a side elevation view of the apparatus of Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is a rear elevation view partially in cross-sec'- tion of the facer unit of Figures 2 and 3 viewed along line 4 4 thereof; f

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional elevation view of Figure 4 taken along line 5 5;

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional plan view vof, Figure 4 taken along line 6 6;

Fig. 7 is a cross-sectional elevation View of Figures 2 and 3 vtaken along line 7 7 thereof;

Fig. 8 is a fragmentary elevation View of Figure 7 taken along line 8 8;

Figure 9 is a fragmentary elevation view of Fig. 2 taken along line 9 9; and

Fig. l0 is a perspective view of the pressure rollers and air jet of Figures 4 and 5.

The present invention receives a high, substantially constant speed input stream of irregularly spaced single mail pieces standing vertically on their long edges. This stream of mail is illustratively derived from the output of a director apparatus indicated generally at 30 in -Figure 1, which may be of the form shown in the above mentioned Mathis application.

The director apparatus 3G, in turn receives an input of a high and substantially constant speed -ow of single mail pieces having a predetermined minimum spacing between the pieces, which is illustratively derived from the output of a sensing and cancelling apparatus, indicated generally at 20 in Figure l. The sensing and cancelling apparatus 20 may be of the form shown in the above mentioned Blake et al. application. In the manner described in detail in the above mentioned Blake et al. and Goodman et al. applications, a continuous stream of letter mail in single file enters the sensing and cancelling apparatus 20 travelling in a direction as indicated by arrow 21, and passes two sensing units 22 and 23; unit 23 cooperates with the front face of each letter and unit 22 with the rear face. Each vof `these sensing units produces electrical signals correspondingH to' the presence and position" o`f"tlie s'tmp'appea'ring Von each letter as it passes the sensing unit. These elecanni?? regardless of the position kof the stamp on the envelope,

atus without operation `of the cancelling units '24 or .25

at all.

The cancelled mail pieces upon leaving the sensing and'cancelling apparatus 20 enter-'the director apparatus 3.0`bet'w'e'en'jthe' driven rollers 32.A vIn .tlie'rna'nner de scribed in detail in the above mentioned Mathis application, the director apparatus 30 utilizes suitable electrical signals, obtained in the manner described in the Goodman et al. application, for Vseparating letters of a rapidly flowing stream into predetermined groups Without any change of speed. By synchronizing these signals to the passage of letters, the letters corresponding to the electrical signals are diverted and sorted, so that, for example, all letters having their stamps inthe same corresponding position can be grouped. Figure l shows an v the'rontface orv the rear face of the envelope.' All other envelopes, including those which'are to be rejected, continue undiverted along the path 34 `for further sorting,

described in the Mathis'application and are not fur'- thei' discussedin Ythis application.

It is desirable to be able to face the cancelled envelopes and then stack the facedV envelopes preliminary" to routing them to their addressed destinations.` The presenty invention permits accomplishment of these results by providing an apparatus responsive to suitable electrical usignals for'facing the lettersand subsequently Vstacking them. -The Goodman et al. application mentioned above describes and claims suitable apparatus lfor producing electrical `signals representative of the stamp location and reference is made to it for a more complete disclosure of that part of the present system. In essence, each envelope produces a signal representative of whether the stamp is positioned on the front or rear face of the envelope and the present invention utilizes that Vsignal to face its corresponding envelope.

The present invention thus receives an irregular stream of cancelled inail, in which the letters have corresponding stamp positions with respect to length (i.e., are all at the leading or all at the trailing envelope edge), :faces the stream so that all letters are p'ositionedwithV their stamps facing* the same relative direction (so that the addresses on the lettersare all facing the' same direction), and then stacks Vthe faced letters in a lsuitable manner to permit 'their extraction from the stack for subsequent 'operations such as routing and dispatching.

Fig. 1 shows an illustrative system incorporating the present invention, with a facer-stacker 'unit-$6. which re- Y '4 ceives the output of the nal stage of the directing appai'tus 30. Fcer-'staclef/"nit/'S receives"in`"itsl inpt channel 40, vertically oriented letters that have their stamps positioned adjacent the leading edge, either on the front face or rear face. The face-stacker unit 36 then operates to rotate each of the vertically disposed envelopes degrees in a respective required sense so that they assume horizontal positions with the yfaces having the stamps thereon all facing the same direction, such as upward. Subsequently these envelopes are shingled and stacked. By shingling is meant that the `mail pieces are successively partially overlapped.

The structure of the facer unit is shown more in detail in Figures 2 to 6.r YReferring to Figure 4, an inputchannel 40 for letters is provided by means of vertical side guides 133 and a plate 122 forming a channel floor. The floor 122 is spaced from the lower edgesof the guides 133 by a distance slightly less than the minimum width of letters expected orto be accommodated. n

A drum or roller 101 is continuously rotated in the sense indicated by the arrow adjacent to it by suitable means, suchas a pulley 1,03 which is vrotated by "a belt 105, that is"driven inturn by a suitable motor and pulley not shown. 'A simlar'drum lor roller 102 isl also continuonslyfr'otted as by a pulley 104 which is rotated by a' rbelt 106 driven suitably, las from anothere'orthe saine motor means. Each of the drums 102 and 101 drives a respective vacuum belt 4107 and 107 whosestructure is described in more detail below. The arrangementof the two vacuum belts 107 and 107f with their respective vacuum apparatus to be described is symmetrical about the vertical axis of the unit Vas viewed in Figure 4 and,

accordingly, only the left side of the unit as Yviewed in Figure 4 need be described in detail. Corresponding elements of the right side of the unit are given the same reference numerals as the apparatus toY be described hereafter, but are primed. Y

Belt 107 rotates about an end ,idler drum or roller 109 anda smaller intermediate idler Vroller 111 whereby 'the belt 107 has a straight portion indicated at 112 between rollers 111 and'109.V InY cooperation with the straight portion 112 of belt 107 and in`close juxtaposition thereto is provided a flat face/113 of a mani'fold'lilft.A The face 113 of manifold 114 is provided with a horizontal row of ports in the vforni of slots 121 with each slot extending vertically from a bottom surface 122 of the input channel 40 upwardly Ia' distance substantially equal ,to orV the same order `of 'magnitude as the smallest width envelope expected to be handled. As seenmost clearly Ain Figure 5, the b elt 107 is `provided with corresponding endless vertical rows of holes or apertures 123, and each row of apertures 123 is in register with a corresponding slot121. The vertical interval between successive apertures 123 in each'verticalrow of ,suchl holes is such that Yeach slot 121 will always communicate with at least one of the Vholes 123 in its respective row. Each hole 123 has a diameter at yleast equal to the width of its cooperating slot 121, but considerably smaller than the length of that slot 121.

A vacuum vpressure or suction is applied to vmanifold 114, through an inlet channel 124 from a vacuum line 128, whichY is connected to a suitable source of vacuum such as an air pump. In inlet channel 124 is located a buttery valve 126 operatively rconnected to a solenoid 127. As viewed in Figure 6 andas will be seen below, the valve 126 is normally in a position closing the inlet channel '124 .so as to cut off the application of vacuum to the'rnanifold 114;

The lower oor 122 .of input channel 40 has a slight gap 48 between it and the belt 1'07 suliicient to pass the vmaximum thickness of fa. letter expected to `be used'with the present invention.

' The belt 107 between the rollers 111 and 102 has an i inclined Vportion 116. At the upper end of the inclined portion 'of belt 1 07 are aV series'ocf rollers 117 riding thereon and pressed thereagainst,

-best 'shown in Figure 1-0, rollers 117 are'pivotally.

mountedon a horizontal shaft 119 .and each adjoining. pair of rollers 117 is urged against vacuum belt 107 or its counterpart 107' by action of a leaf-type spring 118. Shaft 119 is hollow and is coupled as by a suitable pipe or tube 51 to a source of air pressure such as a compressor 52, suitably driven, as by a motor 164. Hollow shaft 119 has a series of holes 120 spaced longitudinally along its axis so that a plurality of jets of air are aimed downwardly along belt 107 and similarly along belt 107. In order to prevent the belt 107 from shifting axially during rotation, as best seen in Figure 6, a V-belt 132 is formed integral with or is secured to the belt 107, and belt 132 is received in an annular peripheral groove 131 provided in roller 102 substantially at said rollers center. Similarly the other rollers aboutwhich belt 107 rotates may have similar annular grooves so placed as to receive V-belt 132.

' The arrangement of belt 107, manifold '114, and associated structure thus far described is repeated as a symmetrical .mirror-image version for the right side of the.

.apparatus 'as viewed in Figure 4.

Extending below drums 101 and 102 is a horizontal. longitudinal vertical straight portions 112 and 112 of the vacuum belts 107.

and 107 respectively, and extend downwardly to such a -depth as to leave exposed the portions of said vacuum belts abutting the manifold slots 121 and 121. In addition, guides 133 may extend but partly across the width of belts 107 and 107 if desired. The end wall 50 of input channel 40 is connected to spring biased dashpots 53. The input chamber is therefore delined by the bottoni surface 122, the end wall 50 and side walls constituted partly by the guides 133 and partly by the belts 107 and 107'. As the letters enter the input channel 40 they have a high kinetic velocity corresponding to their rate of travel which as indicated above may illustratively be' of the order of 150 inches per second. The letters impinge upon the end wall 50 which absorbs substantially all vof the kinetic energy of the envelopes to bring the letter to rest without rebounding. As the letter ceases its forward velocity, either solenoid 127 or 127 is energized by its respective electrical signal. The particular solenoid energized depends upon the signal received from the sensing units 22 or 23. As indicated above, the sensing units 22 or 23 will provide signals indicative of the position of the stamp on the envelope. In the manner described in detail in the above mentioned Goodman et al. application, each letter produces a signal, and by suitably circuitry there described, the output facing signal produced will correspond to whether the stamp is on the front face or on the' rear fac'e of the envelope. Alternatively, the facing signal for one solenoid may be provided by adding together all the input signals to one set of canceller heads disclosed in Pollak application Serial No. 700,860, filed December 5, 1957 for Mail Cancelling Apparatus and the Like, and that for the other solenoid may be provided by adding together all the input signals to the other set of canceller heads of that Pollak application. Depending upon whether a front face or a rear face signal is produced, a corresponding buttery valve 126 or 126' is actuated by its respective solenoid 127 or 127' to supply vacuum to the proper manifold 114 or 114' substantially at the instant the letter that initiated the signal comes to rest.

' In operation, a letter illustratively having a stamp positioned on the rear face of its leading edge will be ejected into the input chamber at a high velocity. 'Ihe letter will slide along the bottom surface 122 of the input chamber between guides 133 due to its kinetic energy, and will impinge on the damping end wall 50. The electrical facing signal produced in response tothe passage of the by the system of the Goodman et al. application to energize solenoid 127 and rotate the buttery valve 126 to' open, causing a vacuum pressure to be applied to manifold 124 just at the instant that the letter which created that electric signal is brought to a stop. Since a horizontal set of belt apertures 123 is then in register with the slots 121 of the manifold 114, vacuum pressure applied to the manifold 114 is operative to attract the lower portion of the envelope to the vertically moving vacuum belt 107, which transports the envelope past the lower floor 122 of the input chamber through the gap 48 between belt 107 and the oor 122. As the belt 107 travels from the roller 111 toward roller 102, the envelope which is vacuum-held to it then passes between the pressure rollers 117 and the belt 107, which diverts the lower edge of the letter away from the central vertical axis of the apparatus. The letter continues essentially parallel to the slanted portion 116 of the belt 107 under action of the pressure rollers 117. As the upper longitudinal edge of the envelope leaves the influence of the pressure roller 117, the envelope is no longer vacuum-held to the belt, and the interaction of the pull of gravity on the letter and the jets of air pressure applied downwardly along belt 107 through holes 120 in shaft 119 causes the upper edge of the envelope to rotate clockwise, as viewed in Figure 4, away from the belt 107 and to fall to a horizontal position on the horizontal conveyor belt 136 with the stamp and the address on the letter facing in a given sense, such as upwardly. As the vacuum belt rotates about roller 102, a wiping action by the letter deector 134 prevents any letter that may have adhered to the belt (as by static electricity) from being pulled around roller 102, and the letter defiector 134 also provides a seal for the horizontal conveyor belt 136.

The use of the long slots 121 of the manifold 114 assures that each letter which is attracted to the belt 107 by vacuum pressure remains under positive pressure engagement with the belt for a suflicient distance for it to become engaged with the rollers 117 and to be positively transported from the upper input chamber to the lower exit chamber of the apparatus, defined by the horizontal belt 136 and the slanted surfaces 116, 116 of belts 107, 107.

In a like manner, a letter entering unit 36 having its stamped positioned on the front face, is sucked against vacuum belt 107', upon actuation of valve 126', and is transported through gap 48 into engagement with roller 117', and caused to rotate counterclockwise, as viewed in Figure 4 away from belt 107 and to fall in a horizontal position on the conveying belt 136 with its stamp and address facing upwardly. The belt 136 traverses a horizontal path and has the successive letters placed thereon in a horizontal position with all the envelopes having the stamps in the same corner and facing the same direction, so that the envelopes are faced.

The conveyor belt 136 does not move at uniform speed but moves stepwise in intermittent fashion a given distance, illustratively of the order of one half inch, in response to the impingement of each input envelope on the end wall 50 in the manner described below. The letters falling on belt 136 are therefore shingled in overlapping relationship.

In Figs. 3 and 5 is illustrated one manner in which the movement of the belt 136 may be controlled by the letter ow. A letter-sensing limit switch 55 is mounted to be 168, and pulley 166 is suitably coupled to roller 171 of.

,eist-*Matr conveyor 136. In `view of .the possibly irregular How -of letters entering each facer-stacker unit, the letter-actuated type of operation has .the advantage of preventing operation of the conveyor belt 136 except when letters are actually being placed thereon.

' The shingled letters thus produced are conveyed by ybelt 136 tothe far end of the unit where a curved inclined plate 151 is located as shown in Fig. 9. The over.-y lapped, shinglel condition of the successive envelopes assures that as each envelope attains the end of the belt 136, it is pushedonto the plate 151 by the belt 136 and by the subsequent letters, so that the entire stream of letters proceeding stepwise on belt 136 vbecomes stacked on the curved plate 151 suitable for easy removal with-V out any interruption of the flow of mail pieces. Suitable limit means can be provided to sound or exhibit a warning signal when an over-supply of envelopes have been stacked so as'to avoid jamming at the facer unit.

-ln order to avoid undesirable possible jamming of the letters being moved stepwise along belt 136, as shown more clearly in Fig. 7, the sides 172-, and 173 of the channel along whichV letters are conveyed by belt 136 are slanted inwardlyy to guide Ythe letters into a single stack on the sloping end plate 151. In addition, the sidewall 172 is continuously oscillated by means of a puslhrod 176 operated by an eccentric cam 177 rotated by motor 164. The side wall 172 is pivotally hinged at 1,73 and has an arm 179 engaging the rod 176 which is normally urged downwardly by a compression spring li which keeps the end of rod 176 against cam 177. Side wall 173 is spring-loaded by means of springs 183 so that in the case of any letter jams it will give in response to any outward pressure but it normallyY remains inthe inwardly slantedY position shown.

Due to the intermittent forward movement of the conveyor belt 136, as the conveyor belt 136receives letters thereon it causes each mail piece to partially overlap the mail piece preceding it, and in turn it is partially overlapped by the'mail piece following it. As this shingled stream of mail advances on belt 13,6, the oscillating movement of side wall 172 against the longitudinal edges of the letters, whichv is transverse to the flow of the s gledf' mail, urges the mail pieces against normally stationary side wall 173 which causes the mail pieces to be properly dressed.

The presentV invention thus provides an apparatus adapt.v edv to accept ahigh speed, vertically oriented, intermittentow of letter pieces, or the like, having, different stamp orientations, and by the usegof facing belts rotating vertically about horizontal transverse axes, the letters are rotated onto, a, horizontal conveyor belt with the envelopes properly faced and shingled. As the conveyor belt, advances, a side wall of the conveyor belt oscillates` transversely against the longitudinal sides of the shingledY letters on the conveyor to dress the mail pieces.Y The ydressed and faced mail pieces are then collected on an inclined plate in uniform stacks suitable forsubsequent operations'.

It will be noted that the side wall 172 is oscillated by an 'eccentric cam and follower attached to the side wall 172 for dressing the mail on the conveyor belt 136; It will be, understood that other suitable means for oscillating Wall 172 may be used, such as pneumatic or electrical means.' t

The particular solenoidfarrangement shown for operating the butterfly valves 126 and-126' to apply vthe vacuum is illustrative only and any suitable means. for applying vacuum'in response to signals indicative of stamp loca-v tion may beused; also signals other than Velectrical signals may be used to. actuate the vacuumsource, so long as: the

signal. is suitably synchronized with the passage of the.V

stampbearing envelope.

-In addition, signals representing characteristics other. thanstamplocationon flat articlesto be faced and stacked niay`a`l`soheusedi andztheapparatus .describedand claimed,

is in no sense limited to-use with letters, but ,can similarly be used with respect to other articles, particularly'y those which are at and relatively light.

What is claimed is:

1. An' apparatus forfacing and stacking a high velocity stream of vertically oriented letters moving longitudinally on edge and having stamps thereon adjacent the same corresponding vertical edge, in response to electrical sig.- nals representative of the presence of stamps-upon said letters, comprising a damping wall disposed in the path of said letter flow and perpendicular thereto, kinetic-energy-absorbing means coupled to said damping wall for bringing to rest input letters impinging upon said damping wall, a rst stationary vacuum manifold on one side A of the path of said input letters having a surface substantially perpendicular to said damping wall and adjacent thereto, a second stationary vacuum manifold on vthe other side of said letter path having a surface perpendic?v ular to said damping wall and adjacent thereto, a first continuous belt sliding against the surface of said firstv manifold and moving perpendicular to said letter'ow, a Y second continuous belt sliding against theY surface of said second manifold and moving similarly perpendicular to said letter ilow., each of said belts having a portion sim-e ilarly inclined at an acute angle from the plane of itsy respective manifold surface, each of said manifolds having an array of apertures in its said surfaceabutting said. continuous belts and each of said belts having an array of apertures, said respective arrays beingy adapted to come into registry during movement of said belts relative to said manifold surfaces, the apertures on one of said arrays being elongated and of a length sufficient to encompass at least every successive pair of registerable apertures of the other array, a vacuum pressure supply means for connectingsaid vacuum pressure supply to said manifolds, firstv valve means interposed between said vacuum pressure supply and said first manifold, second valve means interposedbetween said vacuum supply and said second manifold, re-A spective solenoid means coupled to each of said valve means and each responsive to an electrical signal corresponding to a letter for opening one of said valve means for connecting said vacuum pressure supply to one of' said manifolds synchronously with the impingement of said letter on said damping wall, -whereby vacuum pressure in` saidmanifold is adapted to hold said letter against a` respective belt for transport therewith, pressure rollers resiliently urged against each of the inclined portions of" said belts adjacent an edge of its respective manifold. whereby said letters transported by saidv belts. engage said rollers and are displaced from the plane of the surface. of said manifolds, conveying means below said belts, means applying a plurality of jets of air along each in clined portion of each beltin the direction of movement of said belt for rotatingthe said letters onto said conveying means as said letters are disengaged by said pressure rollers, the letters of one belt being rotated in an'opposite direction from the letters of the other belt, so that said letters have the stamps thereon positioned similarly-and faced in the same direction, means for periodically advancing saidconveying means in timed relation to impingement of said' letters on said damping wall for positioning4 said letters in successive overlapping relation, an oscillatory wall adjacent a longitudinal edge of said vcon-V veying means and adjacentfa longitudinal edgeof said'- letters thereon, means for oscillating said wall transversely to the, flow of said letters, whereby said wall duringl oscillation is urged periodically against the longitudinal edges of said letters to dress them,.and an upwardly in.- clined surface inthe path of said lettersl adjacent tothe endA ofgsaid conveying means for accumulating saidzletters in a stack. Y

2. An apparatus for facing and stacking a highvelclc-` ity stream ofvertically oriented letters moving longitu;; dinally on edge and having-.stampsthereon adjacent 'thea same. corresponding. vertical;A edge, ,in response to- ,elect-i 9. trical signals representative of the presence of stamps upon said letters, comprising a damping Wall disposed in the path of said letter flow and perpendicular thereto, kinetic-energy-absorbing means coupled to said damping wall for bringing to rest input letters impinging upon said damping wall, a first stationary vacuum manifold on one side of the path of said input letters having a surface substantially perpendicular to said damping wall and ad-Y jacent thereto, a second stationary vacuum manifold on the other side of said letter path having a surface perpendicular to said damping wall and adjacent thereto, a first continuous belt sliding against the surface of said rst manifold, and moving perpendicular to said letter ow, a second continuous belt sliding against the surface of said second manifold and moving similarly perpendicular to said letter flow, each of said belts having a portion similarly inclined at an acute angle from the plane of its respective manifold surface, each of said manifolds having an array of apertures in its said surface abutting said continuous belts and each of said belts having an array of apertures, said respective arrays being adapted to come into registry during movement of said belts relative to said manifold surfaces, the apertures on one of said arrays being elongated and of a length suicient to encompass at least every successive pair of registerable apertures of the other array, a vacuum pressure supply means for connecting said vacuum pressure supply to said manifolds, first valve means interposed between said vacuum pressure supply and said tirst manifold, second valve means interposed between said vacuum supply and said second manifold, respective solenoid means coupled to each of said valve means and each responsive to an electrical signal corresponding to a letter for opening one of said valve means for connecting said vacuum pressure supply to one of said manifolds synchronously with the impingement of said letter on said damping wall, whereby vacuum pressure in said manifold is adapted to hold said letter against a respective belt for transport therewith, pressure rollers resiliently urged against each of the inclined portions of said belts adjacent an edge of its respective manifold whereby said letters transported by said belts engage said rollers and are displaced from the plane of the surface of said manifolds, conveying means below saidtbelt for receiving said letters, said conveying means having two longitudinal substantially upright walls adjacent the longitudinal edges thereof, one of said walls being spring-loaded and the other wall being adapted to oscillate transverse to the movement of said conveying means for aligning said letters on said conveying means, means for oscillating said oscillating wall, means applying a plurality of jets of air along each inclined portion of each belt in the direction of movement of said belts for rotating said letters onto the said conveying means as said letters are disengaged by said pressure rollers, the letters of one said belt being rotated in an opposite direction from the letters of the other belt so that the said letters have the stamps thereon positioned similarly and faced in the same direction, means for periodically advancing said conveying means a distance less than the length of said letters in timed relation to impingement of said letters on said damping wall, whereby said letters are positioned in successive overlapping relation, and accumulating means adjacent the end of said conveying means in the path of said letters thereon for receiving said letters in a shingled stack.

3. An apparatus for facing and stacking a high velocity longitudinal flow of letters having stamps thereon adjacent the same corresponding vertical edge in response to electrical signals representative of the face of said letter on which the said stamp thereon is located, comprising: a pair of stationary vacuum manifolds oppositely positioned astride the input letter ow, each of said manifolds having a vertical surface parallel to the plane to rest adjacent said manifolds, a first continuous belt sliding against the vertical surface of one of said mani-- folds and moving perpendicularly to said letter ow, a' second continuous belt sliding against the vertical surface of the other of said manifolds and moving similarly perpendicularly to said letter flow, each of said belts having an inclined portion at an acute angle from the plane of its respective manifold face, each of said manifolds having an aperture in their respective Surfaces, each of said belts having at least one aperture in registration with said aperture in their respective manifold in one or more predetermined positions of said belt, a vacuum pressure` supply, a means for connecting said vacuum pressure supply to each of said manifolds, value means interposed between said vacuum supply and each of said mani-A folds, respective means coupled to each of said valve means and each responsive to said electrical signal corresponding to a letter for opening one of said valve means for connecting said vacuum pressure supply to one of said manifolds synchronously as the said letter comes to rest between said manifolds, whereby vacuum pressure in said manifold is adapted to hold the said letter corresponding to said electrical signal against a respective belt for transport therewith, pressure rollers resiliently urged rotating said letters onto said conveying means as said letters are disengaged by said pressure rollers with saidy letters on the rst mentioned belt being rotated in an opposite direction from the said letters of the second mentioned belt, so that said letters falling on said conveying means have stamps thereon positioned similarly and are faced in the same direction, means for periodically ad` vancing said conveying means in timed relation to the placing of each of said letters thereon for positioning said letters in successive overlapping relation, an oscillatory wall adjacent a longitudinal edge of said conveying means and adjacent a longitudinal edge of said letters thereon, means for oscillating said wall transversely to the ow of said letters, whereby said wall during oscillation is urged periodically against the longitudinal edges' of said letters to dress them, and an upwardly inclined surface in the path of said letters adjacent to the end of said conveying means for accumulating said letters in a stack.

4. An apparatus for facing and stacking a high velocity longitudinal ow of letters having stamps thereon adjacent the same corresponding vertical edge in response to electrical signals representative of the face of said letter on which the said stamp thereon is located, comprising: a pair of stationary vacuum manifolds oppositely positioned astride the input letter ow, each of said manifolds having a vertical surface parallel to the plane in which said letters ow, means for bringing said letters to rest adjacent said manifolds, a rst continuous belt sliding against the vertical surface of one of said' the plane of its respective manifold face, each of said manifolds having an aperture in their respective sur-` faces, each of said belts having at least one aperture in registration with said aperture in their respective mani-v fold in one or more predetermined positions of said belt,v

a vacuum pressure supply, means for connecting said vacuum pressure supply to each of said manifolds, valve' afgezaagd if means. interposed betweenk said vacuum supply and each ofi said manifolds, respective means coupled to each ofY said valve means and each responsive to said electrical signal corresponding toV a letter for opening one of said valve means for connecting said vacuum pressure supply'to one of said manifolds synchronously as the said letter comes to rest between said manifolds, whereby" vacuum pressure in said manifold is adapted to hold the saidV letter corresponding to said electrical signal against a. respective4 belt for transport therewith, pressure rollers `letters on said conveying means, means. oscillating said oscillating wall, means; applying a.. plurality ofjets of air along each inclined portion of eachbelt in the direction. of movement ofv said belts for rotating said. letters onto said.v conveying means as said letters are disengaged byY said pressure rollers, the letters of said first mentioned belt. being rotated in an opposite direction from the letters of. the second mentioned belt so that the letters having. stamps thereon are positioned similarly and faced inthe same direction, and means for periodically advancing; said conveying means a distance less thanV the l'engthof said letters in timed relation to the. placing ofY each of. said letters thereon, whereby said letters are positioned in successive overlapping relation.

5. An apparatus for facing and stacking a high velocityy planar flow of' letters having stamps located similarly thereon in relation to the length of the letters. in

response to electricalV signals representative of the face.

of. said letters on which the said stamp thereon is located,y comprising: a pair of stationary vacuum manifolds each having a substantially vertically disposed surface adjacent the plane in which said input letters flow, means for bringing said letters to rest adjacent said manifolds, aiirst continuous belt sliding against the vertical` surface at an angle from the plane ofV its respective manifold face., ay vacuum pressure supply, means for connecting said vacuum pressureV supply to said manifolds, means responsiveto said electrical signal for connecting said vacuum pressure supply to one of said manifolds syn.

chronously asrthe said letter `correspondingto said electr-ical' signal comes. to rest adjacent said manifolds,

whereby said letter corresponding to said electrical sig nal is held by vacuum pressure against the belt abutting the manifold having the vacuum pressure applied thereto so as to transport the said letter therewith, resilient means urged against each of the inclined portion of each of said belts whereby the said letters engaging said means are displaced fromvv the plane ofthe surface of said manifold, conveying Vmeans below said belts, means for rotating the letters ,from eachr of said belts substantially 90 degrees from the plane in which the said input letters flow with the letters of the first mentioned belt being rotated in an opposite sense than those of the.

second mentioned belt, so that the said letters havethe stamps thereon positioned 'similarly and faced inthe adjacent. a longitudinal edge Yof said letters thereon,

means for oscillating said wa-ll transversely to the iiow of saidletters,whereby` said wall during oscillation is 'of one of said manifolds, a second continuous belt slid` i ingA against the vertical surface of the other of said. manifolds, eachl of said belts having a portion inclined.

- I2 urged periodically against e longitudinal edges of said letters to. dress them, and an upwardly inclined surface in the path of said letters adjacent to the end of said conveyor belt for accumulating said articles in a stackl 6. vAn apparatus for facing and stacking a high velocity planar flow of letters having stamps located similarly thereon in relation to the length of the letters in Y"response to electrical signals representative Vof the face of said letters on which the said stamp thereon is located, comprising: a'pair of stationary vacuum manifolds each having a substantially vertically disposed surface adjacent the plane in which said input letters ow, means. for bringing said letters to'rest adjacent said manifolds,

-a first continuous belt sliding against the vertical sur-- facev of one of said manifolds, a second continuousY belt sliding against the vertical edge of the other of said. manifolds, each of said belts having a portion inclined at an angle from the. plane of its respective manifold face, a vacuum pressure supply, means for connecting` said vacuum pressure supply to said manifolds, means responsive to said. electrical signal for connecting said vacuum pressure supply to one of said manifolds syn-y chronously as'the said letter corresponding to said electrical Vsignal comes to rest adjacent said manifolds, whereby said letter corresponding to said electrical signal. is held by vacuum pressure against the belt abutting the manifold having the'vacuum pressure applied thereto so as to. transport the said letter therewith, resilient. means urged' against each of the inclined portions of each of said belts whereby the said letters engaging said means are displaced from the plane of the surfacey of said manifold, conveying means below said belts, means` for rotating the letters from. each of said belts substantially 90 degrees from the plane in which the said input letters ow with the letters from the first mentioned belt rotated in an opposite sense than those of the second. mentioned belt, so that the said letters have the stamps. thereon positioned similarly and face in the same direc.- tion, means for periodically advancing said conveying means a distance less than the length of said letters in timed relation to the placing of each of said letters thereon, whereby said letters are positioned in successive overlapping relation, means for dressing said letters as said conveying means advances, collecting means adjacent to the end of the conveying means and in the path of said letters for accumulating said letters in a shingled stack.

7. An apparatusv for facing and stacking a planar ow A of at light articles .having a predetermined character-- isticA on` one face in response to electrical signals, each signal being representative of the face ofav respectivearticle on which said characteristic is located, compris` ingr a pluralityY of stationary vacuum manifolds, each manifold having a surface adjacent and parallel to thel plane in which said articles flow, means for bringing said articles to rest adjacent the surfaces of said` manifolds, a plurality of endless belts with each of saidbelts sliding against the surfaceV of a respective one of said manifolds, a source of subatmospheric pressure, means responsive to each of said electrical signals forapplying said pressure Yto one of said manifolds synchronously with the'coming to rest of the article corresponding to said electrical signal adjacent the said one manifold, means applyingY the pressure of said manifold toV said article for holding it positively against the belt abutting the said manifold during movement of said belt whereby said article is transported thereby, conveying means below said belts for receiving said articles, meansl displacing said articles from the plane parallel to the surfaces of said manifolds and transferring' said articles from their respective belts onto said conveying means whereby the face of the. said articles having the. aforemeans. a distance lessV thanv thelongitudinal dimensione 13 of Vsaid articles in timed relation to the placing of each of said articles, whereby said articles are positioned in successive overlapping relation, means dressing said articles as said conveying means advances, and collecting means adjacent the end of the conveying means and in the path of said articles for accumulating said articles in a shingled stack.

8. An apparatus for facing and stacking a planar ow of flat light articles having a predetermined characteristic on one face in response to electrical signals, each signal being representative of the face of a respective article on which said characteristic is located, comprising a plurality of stationary vacuum manifolds, each manifold having a surface adjacent and parallel to the plane in which said articles now, means for bringing said articles to rest adjacent the surfaces of said manifolds, a plurality of endless belts with each of said belts sliding against the surface of a respective one of said manifolds, a source of subatmospheric pressure, means responsive to each of said electrical signals for applying said pressure to one of said manifolds synchronously with the coming to rest of the article corresponding to said` electrical signal adjacent the said one manifold, means applying the pressure of said manifold to said article for holding it positively against the belt abutting the said manifold during movement of said belt Whereby said articles is transported thereby, conveying means below said belts for receiving said articles, means displacing said articles from the plane parallel to the surfaces of said manifolds and transferring said articles from their respective belts onto said conveying means whereby the face of the said articles having the aforementioned characteristics thereon are similarly positioned, and means for periodically advancing said conveying means a distance less than the longitudinal dimension of said articles in timed relation to the placing of each of said articles whereby said articles are positioned in successive overlapping relation.

. 9. An apparatus for facing and stacking a high velocity planar ow of flat light articles having a predetermined characteristic on one face in response to electrical signals, each signal being representative of the face of a respective article on which said characteristic is located, comprising a plurality of stationary vacuum manifolds, each manifold having a surface adjacent and parallel to the plane in which said articles flow, means for bringing said articles to rest adjacent the surfaces of said manifolds, a plurality of continuous belts with each' of said belts sliding against the surface of a respective one of said manifolds, a source of sub-atmospheric pressure, means responsive to each of said electrical signals for applying said'pressure to one of said manifolds synchronously with the coming to rest of the article corresponding to said electrical signal adjacent said one manifold, means applying the pressure of said manifold to said article for holding it positively against the belt abutting the said manifold during movement of said belt whereby said article is transported thereby, conveying means below said belts for receiving said articles, means displacing said articles from the plane parallel to the surfaces of said manifolds and transferring said articles from their respective belts onto said conveying means whereby the face of the said articles having the aforementioned characteristics thereon are similarly positioned, means for periodically advancing said conveying means a distance less than the longitudinal dimcnsion of said articles in timed relation to the placing of each of said articles whereby said articles are positioned in successive overlapping relation, an oscillatory wall adjacent the longitudinal edge of said conveyor belt and adapted to be oscillated transversely to the flow of said articles whereby the said wall during oscillation is urged against the longitudinal edges of said articles and an upwardly inclined surface in the path of said 14 articles adjacent to the end of said conveyor belt for accumulating said articles in a stack.

10. An apparatus for facing a high velocity horizontal stream of letters moving longitudinally on edge in a vertical plane and having stamps thereon adjacent the same corresponding vertical edge in response to electrical signals representative of the presence of stamps upon said letters, comprising: a damping wall disposed in the path of said letter flow and perpendicular thereto, kinetic-energy-absorbing means coupled to said damping Wall for bringing to rest input letters impinging upon said damping wall, a first stationary vacuum manifold on one side of the path of said input letters having a surface substantially perpendicular to said damping wall and adjacent thereto, a second stationary vacuum manifold on the other side of said letter path having a surface substantially perpendicular to said damping wall and adjacent thereto, a rst continuous belt sliding against the surface of said first manifold, and moving perpendicular to the direction of the said letter iiow, a second continuous belt sliding against the surface of said second manifold and moving in the same direction as the said rst belt, each of said belts having a similarly inclined portion at an acute angle from the plane of its respective manifold surface, ,each of said manifolds having an array of apertures in its surface abutting its continuous belt and each of said belts having an array of apertures, said respective arrays being adapted to come into registry during movement of said belt relative to said manifold surface, an aperture on one of said arrays being elongated and of a length suicient to encompass at least every successive pair of registerable apertures of the other array, a vacuum pressure supply, means for connecting said vacuum pressure supply to said manifolds, rst valve means interposed between said vacuum pressure supply and rst manifold, second valve means interposed between said vacuum supply and said second manifold, respective solenoid means coupled to each of said valve means and each responsive to an electrical signal corresponding to a letter for opening one of said valve means for connecting said vacuum pressure supply to one of said manifolds synchronously with the impingement of said letter on said damping Wall, whereby Vacuum pressure in said manifold is adapted to hold the letter corresponding to said electrical signal against a respective belt for transport therewith, pressure rollers resiliently urged against each of the inclined portions of each of said belts adjacent an edge of its respective manifold surface whereby said letters transported by said belts engage said rollers and are displaced from the plane of the surface of said manifolds and means applying a plurality of air jets along each inclined portion of each of said belts in the direction of movement of said belt, for rotating the said letters onto a horizontal plane as said letters are disengaged by said pressure rollers, the letters of one belt being rotated in an opposite direction from the letters of the other belt, so that the said letters have the stamps thereon positioned similarly and faced in the same direction. l

ll. An apparatus for facing a high velocity longitudinal ow of letters having stamps thereon adjacent the same corresponding vertical edge in response to electrical signals representative of the face of said letter on which the said stamp thereon is located, comprising: a pair of stationary vacuum manifolds oppositely positioned astride the input letter flow, each of said manifolds having a vertical surface parallel to the plane in which said letters flow, means for bringing said letters to rest adjacent said manifolds, a rst continuous belt sliding against the vertical surface of one of said manifolds and moving perpendicularly to said letter ow, a second continuous belt sliding against the vertical surface of the other of said manifolds, and moving similarly perpendicularly to said letter flow, each of said belts having an inclined portion at an acute angle from the plane of its respective manifold face,y each of said manifolds having an aperture in their respective surfaces, each of said belt's'- having at least one aperture in registration with said aperture in their respective manifold in one yor more predetermined positions of said belt, a vacuum pressure supp1y,'means for connecting said vacuum pressuresupply toY eachY of t said manifolds, valve means interposed between said vac-V num supply and each of said manifolds, Arespective 'means'- Y coupled to each of said valve means and each responsivetosaid electrical signal corresponding to a letter for opening one ofsaid valve means for connecting saidA vacuum pressure supply to one of said manifolds synchronously vas the said letter comes Yto rest between said manifolds, whereby vacuum pressure in said rrianifcaldl isf "adapted to hold the said letter corresponding to said- Vrotating the said letters onto la vhorizontal plane asthesaid letters become disengaged by said'pres'sure rollers,

y with the said letters of the iirst mentioned belt being rotated in an opposite direction fromv the said! letters of the second mentionedV belt so that. thesaid letters fallingv on said horizontal plane have the stamps: thereon positioned similarly and are faced inthe same direction; Y

12.'An apparatus for facing" a high velocity planar` Iflow of letters having stamps located similarly thereonin relation to the length of the letters in response to elec-v trical signal-s representative of the face' of said lettersl on which the said stamp thereon is located, comprising a pair of stationary vacuum manifolds each having a substantially vertically disposed surface-adjacent 'the plane,

Y in which said input letters,` flow, means' for bringing said letters'to rest adjacent said manifolds, a first continuousy belt sliding against theY vertical surface of one of said manifolds, a second continuous beltsliding against the vertical surface of the other of said manifolds-,feach of .Said belts having a portion inclined at an angle" from the plane of its respective manifold face, a vacuum' pressure supply, means for connecting said vacuum pressure" supply to said manifolds, means responsive to said electrical signal for connecting said vacuum pressure supply:

um pressure applied thereto so as lto transport the YletterY therewith, resilient means urged against each of the in'- clined portions Vof each of saidv 4belts'whereby theV saidV letters engaging said means are displaced from the plane' of the surface of said manifold, and means for rotating the letters from each of said belts' substantiallyv 90 de-A grees from the plane in which the said input lettersr flow, withV the letters from the rst mentioned belt being rotated in an opposite sense than those of the second-men tioned belt, so that said letters have the* stamps thereon n positioned similarly and facedvin the same direction;V

' 13. An apparatus for facing a yhigh Veloci-ty planar" ilow of fiat light articles having a predeterniinedfy char-V acteristic on one face in response to electrical signalsv each signal being representative of the face of la respec- Vtive article on which said characteristic is located, com--Y prising aA plurality7 of stationary vacuum manifolds, each manifold'having a Isurface adjacent and parallel toV piane' in which said articles flow, means for bringing said' articles torestadjacent the' surfaces of said manifolds, a; plurality of endless 'beltsrwith eachof said belts'slidf ingl against the-surface of arrespecitve one offsadm folds, asource Q' sub-atmospheric pressure; nieaiisre 1'6 speisve to: each if said Y etefriet signalfc applying said pressure to' one of said manifolds Vsvneli'rons1y' With thecoming forest of the article correspondingvf6v said electrical signal adjacent s'aidfonje' manifold, mas` applying ythe pressure f said manifeiifo 'saia article for' holding -it positively gain'st'f the belt abutting the said manifold during movement of said belt whereby said article istransported thereby', and means displacing Athe said articlesv fromrthe plane parallel' tothe stuff-'facesy of,v said manifolds and removing the said articles from rtheir respective beltsy whereby the facesV ofY the Vsaid having theaforementioned characteristics thereon are similarly positioned. A c 1 'y l n 14. Apparatus for facing a' high `velocitylinear novi of' copianar light nat. articles, eachv navin'g predeter: mined characteristic ori one face, in response toV electrical signals, each signal being repre'se1`1tativ.='v ofthe facefof al respective' article on which saidcharact'eristic occurs,4V comprising a' pair of'article'trans'porters located ony either sid'eof the plane of the said articlesand along the path thereof, means for' bringing each of said articles torestVV Vlnetween said transporters-,1 means' responsive to eachof said electrical signals representativeof 'the' occurrence" of saidI characteristic on one predetermined face' of said articls' androperativef in timedrelation' to the halting of. an' article corresponding to said signal Yfor causing'on" of. said articles'transporters toV engage' said halted articles,v means' responsive to each of said electrical? signals repre; sent-ative of the occurrencef of said' characteristic onA the" opposite face of said larticles and' operative in timed relation: to the halting of an' article' corresponding to said: signal for causing the otherV of said? article transporters torv engage said latter halted` article, each of said transeA porters comprising means for conveyingiits engaged articles transversely of and coplanarly withY the path of said" article 'ow and means cooperating with each ot said transporters for thereafter disengaging'said conveyedarticles therefrom, and for rotatingy said conveye'd arti` cles into'a plane at an angle to theplane of said articles in said flow, the directions of rotations for said two' trans-t' porters being oppositeV to` one another, whereby-said Yconr` veyed articles are respectively rotated tojhave' their char#4 aeteristic-bearing faces similarly positioned.

1'5; Apparatus for facing' a hightvelocity linear'ofw of coplanar lightv flat articles, each'V having a predeter-z Y mined characteristic n one`face,'in@response to electrical signals, each signal beingv representative of the facci: of a 'respective article on which said: characteristicoccurs, comprising a pair o'f Varticletransporters located on either sideV of the plane of saidarticles and along the` path` thereof, means operative synchronously withgthe arrival ofan article between'saidl transporters' and 1re; sponsive to the electrical signal corresponding to said article for causingfon'e or the othergof4 said 'transporters to' engage said articleV inV accordance withwhich' facepisaid articles bears said characteristic, each of said trans-2 porters comprising means for* conveying Vits Vengaged ar.-

ticles away fromA the pathzof said article ow,rand means'7 cooperating' with* e'ach'of 'saldi transportersV for rotating` the'planes of the articlesvconveyedfthereby throughsuhb-- stantiallyy 90 degrees, the directions of *rotationsl for sail two transporters being yrelatively opposite to one anothen: wherebyY lsaid conveyed Iarticles* arev respectlvc'elyy rotated tohave: their characteristic-bearing faces similarly,posi-V ti'oned;4i t v f t* Y I 16i Apparatusfor correspondinglylfacing alinear of f coplanar lightat'rarticl'es each having a'predeter'-v mined characteristicon oneface or'thef other thereof, corri? prisingl. meansl for selectively engagingl articles of said? new having said characteristic on a givenjfacef,man`s`i foi-' rotating" the plane of said engaged"v articles substanl tially 910' 'degrees in a`predjeterrniiiedy direction, nieaitis'Y for selectively engaging articles of said cha' acteri'stic onfan oppositeface, and" means fror'rotatln'gthei piane pif snellader: engaged articles' substantially 9o deAV grees in an opposite direction, whereby said articles are caused to have their characteristic-bearing faces similarly positioned.

17. Apparatus for sorting articles from a stream of light at articles comprising a vacuum manifold having a surface parallel and adjacent to the plane of said articles, a belt slidable along said manifold surface transversely of said flow, one belt and surface having registerable apertures, and means responsive to accurrence of selected ones of said articles adjacent said surface for causing said articles to be engaged by said belt and transported thereby transversely of said stream.

18. An apparatus for stacking letters of two intermittent irregularly spaced, vertically flowing streams of vertically oriented letters comprising a horizontal conveyor belt in the path of said streams of letters for receiving said letters, means for rotating said letters substantially 90 degrees onto said belt, means for periodically advancing said belt in timed relation to the placement of each of said letters thereon, to position said le*- ters in successive overlapping relation, an oscillatory wall adjacent one longitudinal edge of said conveying means and adjacent a longitudinal edge of the letters thereon, means for oscillating said Wall transversely to the ow of said letters, whereby the said Wall during oscillation is urged periodically against the longitudinal edges of said letters to dress them, and an upwardly inclined surface in the path of said letters adjacent to the edge of said conveying means for accumulating said letters inastack.

19. An apparatus for stacking letters of two intermittent, irregularly spaced, vertically owing streams of vertically oriented letters comprising a horizontal conveyor belt in the path of said streams of letters for receiving said letters, means for rotating said letters substantially 90 degrees onto said belt, and means for periodically advancing said belt in timed relation to the placement of each of said letters thereon, to position said letters in successive overlapping relation, an oscillatory wall adjacent one longitudinal edge of said conveying means and adjacent a longitudinal edge of the letters thereon, means for oscillating said wall transversely to the ow of said letters, whereby the said wall during oscillation is urged periodically against the longitudinal edges of said letters to dress them.

20. An apparatus for facing and stacking a high velocity planar iioW of fiat light articles having a predetermined characteristic on one face in response to electrical signals, each signal being representative of the face of a respective article on which said characteristic is 1ocated, comprising a plurality of stationary vacuum manifolds, each manifold having a surface adjacent and parallel to the plane in which said articles how, means for bringing said articles to rest adjacent the surfaces of said manifolds, a plurality of continuous belts with each of said belts sliding against the surface of a respective one of said manifolds, a source of sub-atmospheric pressure, means responsive to each of said electric signals for api plying Said pressure to one of said manifolds synchron? ously with the coming to rest of the article corresponding to said electrical signal adjacent said one'manifold, means applying the pressure of said manifold to said article for holding it positively against the belt abutting the said manifold during movement of said belt whereby said article is transported thereby, conveying means below said belts for receiving said articles, means displacing said articles from the plane parallel to the surfaces of said manifolds and transferring said articles from their respective belts onto said conveying means whereby the face of the said articles having the aforementioned characteristics thereon are similarly positioned, means for periodically advancing said conveying means a distance less than the longitudinal dimension or said articles in timed relation to the placing of each of said articles whereby said articles are positioned in successive overlapping relation, and an oscillatory Wall adjacent the longitudinal edge of said conveyor belt and adapted to be oscillated transversely to the How of said articles whereby the said wall during oscillation is urged against the longitudinal edges of said articles and an upwardly inclined surface in the path of said articles adjacent to the end of said conveyor belt for accumulating said articles in a stack.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNiTED STATES `PATENTS 1,548,350 Y@ierland Aug. 4, 1925 1,619,787 Elder Mar. 1, 1927 2,759,600 sayior Aug. 21, 1956 2,776,831 shields Jan. s, 1957

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1548350 *Dec 15, 1923Aug 4, 1925Charles R HuffStacking mechanism
US1619787 *Mar 26, 1923Mar 1, 1927Elder & Robinson CoMachine for checkweighing and grading by weight
US2759600 *Dec 19, 1951Aug 21, 1956Diamond Glass CompanyGauging apparatus
US2776831 *Jan 9, 1953Jan 8, 1957S & S Corrugated Paper MachSheet inverting mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3092380 *Oct 3, 1960Jun 4, 1963IbmApparatus for stacking cut forms at high speed
US3206000 *Apr 26, 1963Sep 14, 1965Merck & Co IncArticle positioning apparatus
US4566595 *Apr 8, 1983Jan 28, 1986Guy FustierDevice for classifying handled objects
US4986423 *Jun 27, 1989Jan 22, 1991Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaRegular-internal mail feeding apparatus
EP0092460A1 *Apr 7, 1983Oct 26, 1983Guy FustierDevice for orderly arranging treated articles
Classifications
U.S. Classification198/380, 271/195, 198/395, 209/900, 271/3.22, 271/2, 198/400
International ClassificationB07C1/20
Cooperative ClassificationB07C1/20, Y10S209/90
European ClassificationB07C1/20