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Publication numberUS2967419 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 10, 1961
Filing dateMar 13, 1958
Priority dateMar 19, 1957
Publication numberUS 2967419 A, US 2967419A, US-A-2967419, US2967419 A, US2967419A
InventorsJoseph Katona
Original AssigneeJoseph Katona
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination lock
US 2967419 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 10, 1961 J. KATONA 2,967,419

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United States Patent 2,967,419 COMBINATION LOCK Joseph Katona, 1540 Liberator Ave., Allentown, Pa.

Filed Mar. 13, 1958, Ser. No. 721,187 Claims priority, application Austria Mar. 19, 1957 6 Claims. (Cl. 70-413) This invention relates to a combination-lock, and more particularly to a combination lock for strong boxes and the like having a high degree of security.

Strong boxes or cash boxes have in the past been provided with various kinds of combination locks. Such locks have either of necessity required such complicated mechanisms as to be uneconomical' or have utilized such a simplified structure that the combination of the lock provided no real obstacle to an unauthorized person intenton gaining access to the box.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a new and improved combination lock of the type used in strong boxes, cash boxes and the like. It is another object of my invention to provide such a lock which although economical to manufacture will by its nature admit of such a large number of possible combinations that accidental unlocking is unlikely. A still further object is to provide such a novel lock based upon the piano keyboard, whereby combination settings are readily remembered but exceedingly difficult for an unauthorized person to deduce.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will further become apparent from the following description and drawings whereof:

Fig. 1 represents a plan view of a combination lock according to one embodiment of this invention.

Fig. 2 is a sectional elevational view taken along the lines and in the direction of the arrows Ii -II of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a sectional elevational view taken along the lines in the direction of the arrows III.-III of Fig. 1.

Figs. 4-6 are front elevational views of the combination lock of Fig. 1 similar to Fig. 3 showing steps in the operation of the mechanism.

Fig. 7 represents a plan view of a combination lock according to another embodiment of this invention Fig. 8 is a sectional elevational view taken along the lines and in the direction of the arrows VIIIVIII of Fig. 7.

Fig. 9 is a sectional elevational view taken along the lines and in the direction of the arrows IX-IX of Fig. 7.

Fig. 10 is a sectional elevational view taken along the lines and in the direction of the arrows X-X of Fig. 7.

Fig. 11 is a sectional elevational view taken along the lines and in the direction of the arrows Xl-XI of Fig. 7.

Fig. 12 is a fragmentary sectional elevational view taken along the lines and in the direction of the arrows XII-XIIof Fig. 7.

Fig. 13 represents a plan view of a combination lock according to a further embodiment of this invention.

Fig. 14 is a sectional elevational view taken along the lines and in the direction of the arrows XIV-XIV of Fig. 13.

Fig. 15 is a sectional elevational view taken along the lines and in the direction of the arrows XVXV of Fig. 13.

Fig. 16 is similar to Fig. 15 and shows the operation of an element of the embodiment of Fig. 13.

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The objects of this invention are accomplished by the novel combination lock described and claimed herein which comprises a spring loaded retractable bolt and a keeper therefor, the bolt being normally urged into a locked relationship with the keeper; means to retract the bolt comprising a series of notches integral with the bolt and tumbler elements constructed to fit within the notches, the tumbler elements and notches serving both to advance the bolt toward its unlocked position and to restrain the bolt in its locked, unlocked and intermediate positions; whereby the lock is opened by simultaneously actuating a plurality of the tumbler elements so as to simultaneously release a restraining element and to retract the bolt out of its locked position.

Turning now to the specific forms of the invention as shown in the drawings, Figs. 1 and 2 show a conventional strong box or cash box having incorporated therein a four-sided bottom portion 11 (the lower wall not being shown) and a hinged top portion 12. Top 12 is hollow and is formed by an upper wall 13, lower wall 14 and side walls'15, 16, 17 and 18. Lower wall 14 has formed therein a rectangular opening 19 and upper wall 13 has formed therein a plurality of circular openings 20. The side 17a of bottom portion 11 has an inturned lip 21 formed on its upper edge. An inverted U-shaped keeper 22 is afiixed to lip 21 in a vertical position and located at a point along lip 21 such that keeper 22 extends into the lip portion 12 through opening 19 when the lid is in closed position.

Vertical posts 23 are mounted between walls 13 and 14 of top portion 12 and have formed therein rectangular openings 23a, in which openings there is movably mounted a fiat notched bar 24. Extending between walls 16 and 18 is an inner wall 25 in which are located a plurality of openings 26. Affixed to wall 15 is an L-shaped shelf 27 which extends the length of the box between walls 16 and 18. Affixed to shelf,27 are a plurality of spring-wire fingers 28 arranged parallel to walls 16 and 18 and spaced substantially equidistantly along shelf 27.

Mounted on top wall 13 are a series of push buttons 29. Each button consists of a head portion 30, a shaft portion 31 extending through opening 20 and a slotted portion 32. Surrounding shaft 31 is a compressed spring 33 held in position by depending skirt 34 and top Wall 13. Spring 33 normally urges slotted portion 32 into abutment with the underside of top wall 13. Referring to Fig. 3, it is seen that each wire 28 passes through the slot of a portion 32 and also through a corresponding opening in wall 25, this arrangement insuring that Wires 28 remain substantially parallel to walls 16 and 18. A tensioned spring 35 is afiixed to lug 36 of bar 24 and to post 23. Fig. 4 shows that there are spaced along the upper and lower longitudinal edges of bar 24 aplurality of notches of varying shapes. The primary difference between these shapes is that some are formed with angular sides and some are straight-sided. The reason for this difference will be hereinafter shown. A bolt hook 37 is afiixed to bar 24 and configured so as to engage keeper 22 when bar 24 is in the locked and partially unlocked positions.

The operation of this embodiment of my invention is illustrated by Figs. 4-6. Spring 35 normally urges bar 24 toward wall 16,, thereby keeping the hook 37 engaged within keeper 22 and the box locked. To unlock the box it is necessary to retract bar 24 so as to withdraw hook 37 from engagement with keeper '22 against the force of spring 35. This movement is accomplished by depressing a combination of push buttons 30. As a push button is depressed, slotted portion 32 bears upon a wire 28thereby causing the wire to be deflected from its normal position. The free ends of wires 28 are permanently set at an'angle to the base ends thereof in such a manner that the free ends of certain wires 28 lie in a plane slightly above the upper edge of bar 24 and the ends of the remaining wires contact the lower edge of bar 24 due to a slight deflection of these wires from their normal position. (See also Fig. 2.) This deflection causes bar 24 to be locked against longitudinal movement whenever bar 24 is in such position that a lower wire end comes into registry with a restraining notch on the lower edge of bar 24. As can be seen from Fig. 4, two wire ends are in such registry at the locked position of bar 24 and these wires must be disengaged from the locking notches in order that retraction of bar 24 might occur. In this locked position certain upper wire ends lie adjacent to notches on the upper edge of bar 24. One of such notches has an angular side, for example, the notch adjacent the wire associated with push button VII. By manually depressing push button VII it is seen that the associated wire 28 would be forced against the angular side of the adjacent notch in bar 24. Since lateral movement of the depressed wire 28 is prevented by the walls of openings 26 and slotted portion 32, the continued application of force through push button VII would normally cause bar 24 to be retracted against the counter-force of spring 35 out of engagement with keeper 22, a total distance equal to the horizontal equivalent of the angular side of the engaged notch. It is readily seen therefore that movement of bar 24 from its locked position is accomplished by depressing the combination of push-buttons III, VII and XI. This combination is only given for purposes of illustration and many other combinations of retracting and restraining notches can be utilized as desired. Thus displaced bar 24 has been moved to the position shown in Fig. and it is seen that book 37 has been partially withdrawn from engagement with keeper 22. Moreover, bar 24 must now be further retracted in order to unlock the box. It must also be noted that in order to prevent bar 24 from returning automatically from its locked position, push-button VII must be kept in its depressed position until a further retraction of bar 24 is accomplished. Referring to Fig. 5, it can be seen that the next retraction of bar 24 is made by depressing the combination of pushbuttons V and IX. The push-button V serves to retract the bar against the force of spring 35, while push-button IX serves to release the associated spring wire 28 from a restraining notch. Fig. 6 illustrates the resulting position of bar 24 and the corresponding relationship of spring-wires and notches. It is noted that the springwires 28 associated with push-buttons II and X have registered in restraining notches in the lower edge of bar 24, thereby holding the bar in this unlocked position. Hook 37 has now been fully withdrawn from keeper 22 and top portion 12 may be raised.

The above described unlocking sequence consists of a two-step operation. However, by a suitable arrangement of retracting and restraining notches on bar 24 the unlocking sequence may consist of one or more than two steps. Also it is evident that a large number of possible combinations may be utilized by varying the position of the retracting notches on bar 24.

In order to relock the box, top 12 is closed and pushbuttons II and X depressed, thereby releasing the associated spring-wires from registry with the corresponding restraining notches. Bar 24 is now automatically drawn into the locked position of Figs. 3 and 4.

Referring now to Figs. 3-6 it is seen that in addition to having angularly sided notches, the top edge of bar 24 is provided with a plurality of straight-sided notches. Naturally no movement of bar 24 can be achieved by urging a spring-wire 28 into one of such notches. In fact, if a wire is so urged into a straight-sided notch at the same time a wire is urged into an angularly-sided notch, no movement of bar 24 would result, notwithstanding the fact that the proper wires in registry with the lower restraining notches of bar 24 had been depressed. This provision of locking notches on the top edge of bar 24 serves to prevent an accidental opening of the look by one not having the proper combination thereto.

Figs. 7-12 illustrate another embodiment of my invention incorporating certain modifications thereof. First referring to Fig. 7, it is seen that hook 37 is so constructed and arranged as to be pivotably mounted between ears 38, 39 which are in turn affixed to bar 24. This provision obviates the difiiculty encountered when it is desirable to close the top 12 notwithstanding the fact that bar 24 has been releasedinto its locked position. When hook 37 is constructed according to this modification, such a closing of top 12 merely causes book 37 to pivot about the portion suspended between cars 38, 39 as shown in Fig. 9. Hook 37 can be manually repositioned when it is desired to lock the box, projecting lug 40 insuring that hook 37 is properly aligned with keeper 22.

It is also seen in Fig. 7 that instead of push-buttons, elements resembling piano keys may be used to actuate the lock of my invention in accordance with the principles heretofore described. Simulated white keys 41 have a general outline similar to that of the conventional white keys of a piano. The general outline of black keys 42 is likewise similar to that of the conventional black keys of a piano. However, the simulated black keys 42 are positioned in such a manner that their upper surfaces lie in the same horizontal plane as the upper surfaces of white keys 41. This construction and the close fitting configuration of the series of simulated black and white keys as shown in Figs. 7-1?. provides a tamper-proof construction for this embodiment of my invention. Keys 41, 42 are returned to their normal rest position by the spring-action of wires 28. Springs 43 serve to return the respective keys to their inactive positions after any depression of a key which causes a wire 28 to remain deflected from its normal rest position. In all other respects this modification of my combination lock functions in the same manner as the push-buttonembodiment above described.

Figs. 13-16 demonstrate a still further modification embodying the principles of this invention. In this embodiment the keys 45 are of uniform size and use of the spring-action of the keys 45 is made to serve the purpose of spring-wires 28. As can be seen from Fig. 14 this modification permits the use of a stifi wire finger 46 as an actuating element for use in association with the upper notches of bar 24. It is shown in Figs. 15 and 16 that spring wires 28 of less stiffness than springs 43 must be used according to this modification to achieve a proper registry with the lower notches of bar 24. Although several embodiments of my invention have been illustrated herein, it is readily apparent that many alternative devices may be employed to carry out the functions of the elements disclosed above without departing from the spirit of my invention as defined in the annexed claims.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. In a combination lock, a retractable bolt comprising a flat bar having opposed notched edges; a keeper for the bolt; spring means for continuously urging the bolt toward locking engagement with the keeper; means for normally restraining the bolt from movement out of locking engagement with the keeper comprising a spring wire, one end of the wire being secured to the inside of the box, the free end of the wire projecting in a direction substantially normal to the plane of the bar and being normally urged into contact with a notched edge and in registry with a notch; means for retracting the bolt comprising a spring wire, one end of the wire being secured to the inside of the box, the free end of the wire projecting in a direction substantially normal to the plane of the bar and normally being in close proximity to a notched edge whereby movement of the wire into a notch retracts the bar; and means for simultaneously releasing the re straining means and actuating the retracting means comprising a combination of moveable key elements, each key being adapted to engage and displace a spring wire, whereby it is necessary in order to advance said bolt through successive increments of movement to maintain each retracting means in engagement with the corresponding notch until an additional retracting means has been actuated.

2. The invention according to claim 1 wherein the notches on one edge of the bar have straight sides and the notches on the opposite edge of the bar have angular and straight sides; wherein restraining wires are normally urged into contact with that edge of the bar having only straight sided notches; wherein retracting wires are normally disposed in proximity to that edge of the bar having angular and straight sided notches; and wherein the combination of key elements comprises a key associated with a restraining wire and a key associated with a retracting wire.

3. The invention according to claim 1 wherein the combination of key elements comprises a series of groups of keys, the groups being actuated in a specific order and each group comprising a key associated with a restraining wire and a key associated with a retracting wire; and wherein that portion of the bar which normally engages the keeper is of such dimensions that it is only fully retracted from engagement with the keeper after the complete series of groups of keys has been actuated.

4. The invention according to claim 3 wherein the key elements comprise a plurality of keys having a plane configuration similar to that of the black and white keys of a piano keyboard.

5. In a combination lock, a retractable bolt and a keeper therefor, said bolt comprising a flat bar having opposed notched edges, the notches on one edge of the bar having straight sides and the notches on the opposite edge of the bar having angular and straight sides; spring means for continuously urging said bolt toward locking engagement with the keeper; means for normally restraining the bolt from movement out of locking engagement with the keeper comprising a spring-wire, one end of said wire being secured to the inside of the box, and the free end of the plane of the bar and being normally urged into contact with a notched edge having only straight-sided notches and in registry with a notch; means for retracting the bolt comprising a spring-wire, one end of the wire being secured to the inside of the box, and the free end of the wire projecting in a direction substantially normal to the plane of the bar and normally being in close proximity to that edge of the bar having angular and straightsided notches; and means for simultaneously releasing the restraining means and actuating the retracting means comprising a combination of movable key elements, at least one key element being associated with a restraining wire and at least one key element being associated with a retracting wire.

6. In a combination lock, a retractable bolt and a keeper therefor, said bolt having a plurality of notches and cammed surfaces formed thereon, spring means for continuously urging the bolt toward locking engagement with the keeper; a plurality of first manually actuatable means normally out of engagement with the bolt and arranged for engagement with a cammed surface thereof so as to retract the bolt; a plurality of second manually actuatable means normally in engagement with a notch of the bolt thereby locking the bolt against retraction, whereby said bolt is advanced toward its locked opening position by sequentially actuating a plurality of combinations of said first and second manually actuatable means.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 895,380 Lombard Aug. 4, 1908 980,154 Hershey Dec. 27, 1910 1,185,468 Borg May 30, 1916 2,029,080 Mills Jan. 28, 1936 2,706,393 Jamieson et a1. Apr. 19, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 421,418 Italy Mar. 22, 1947

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US895380 *Aug 20, 1907Aug 4, 1908Daniel E LombardCombination-lock for doors.
US980154 *Apr 15, 1910Dec 27, 1910Elam HersheyLock.
US1185468 *Oct 6, 1915May 30, 1916Werner Wilhelm BorgLock and latch.
US2029080 *Apr 26, 1934Jan 28, 1936Mills George ECombination lock
US2706393 *Oct 29, 1952Apr 19, 1955Mae C HaysCombination lock device
IT421418B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3115028 *Apr 25, 1961Dec 24, 1963Charles Windle JohnCombination lock
US3664231 *Dec 17, 1970May 23, 1972Pitney Bowes IncLocking device
US3977222 *Aug 22, 1975Aug 31, 1976Pitney-Bowes, Inc.Locking device
US4014194 *Jan 7, 1976Mar 29, 1977Susan Nilson HartmanMechanical push button lock
US4709564 *Nov 15, 1985Dec 1, 1987Osaka Kanagu Co., Ltd.Digital lock
US9328534 *Apr 15, 2014May 3, 2016Michael BlankenshipSafe and lock mechanism
US20100154496 *Dec 23, 2008Jun 24, 2010Correia Lewis ABinary sliding tumbler lock
Classifications
U.S. Classification70/313, 70/63, 70/156, 70/288
International ClassificationE05B37/16, E05B37/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B37/16
European ClassificationE05B37/16