US 2990113 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 27, 1961 H. FOSBRINK ErAL CHUTE STRUCTURE FOR FARE BOXES Filed Aug. 28, 1959 4 5 0 6 d 0 4 1 v, 4, w 3 M e ..i I] E56 0 7 2 0 7 1, 0 0 d g a 4 9 [L j 4 t. I 2 a w 4 1 H 17. a W fi l d/U 0 w 0 R I Z s 0 a, Z n M 2 w a 4 Q/ www 2 4 k6 W, m
United States PatentO 2,990,113 CHUTE STRUCTURE FOR FARE BOXES Howard Fosbrink, 737 Rossmore St., and John H. Fosbrink, 923 Timberland Ave., both of Pittsburgh, Pa. Filed Aug. 28, 1959, Ser. No. 836,747 1 Claim. (Cl. 2327) This invention relates generally to fare box construction, reference here being had to fare boxes such as are used in buses, trolleys, etc.
More particularly, the invention has reference to an improvement in the construction of the upper section or chute structure of a fare box, this being the portion of the fare box that is mounted upon the storage or till section normally provided as the lower part of the fare box.
It is appropriate, in this connection, to discuss generally the nature of conventional fare boxes of the type improved upon by the present invention. Normally, such a farebox will include a lower-and an upper section, these being normally connected by tie bolts, or by any equivalent means that will fixedly but detachably connect the upper portion to the lower portion. The lower portion of the fare box comprises a storage or till section, that is, an enclosure into which the coins, tokens, or other fares drop after they have been deposited in theupper section by the passenger, and have been inspected by the operator of the public transportation vehicle. The storage or till box, in a typical installation, is sealed so that access cannot be had thereto by the vehicle operator or by other unauthorized personnel. Atselected, scheduled intervals, the storage section is opened by administrative personnel, or others employed for this particular duty.
The upper section, in an installation of the type described, is formed as an enclosure that may be removably bolted to the lower or storage section, and that has transparent side walls. In said enclosure, a chute structure is normally provided, composed of a series ofvertically spaced, inclined chutes or ramps disposed below a fare-receiving opening formed in the upper end -of the mentioned enclosure. The passengers drop coins into the opening, and said coins strike each ramp or chute in turn, gravitating to the lower end of the enclosure. The chutes not only retard-the fall of the coins or tokens,
but also serve the purpose of defining a tortuous path within the enclosure, to supposedlyprevent one from removing money from the fare box after it has been deposited'therein and has dropped either to the lower end of the upper sectionor, even, into the storage section provided therebelow.
At the lower end of the upper section of the fare box,
there is normally provided one or more till.plates, in the form of normally closed doors, onto which the coins, tokens, or other fares drop into a position permitting their visual inspection by the vehicle operator.- Said doors can be opened by the operator, in such a wayas to permit the fares to gravitate into the storage section after inspection.
The conventional chute structure is so arrangedth-at all of the chutes decline in a direction away from di- This being the path that the fares follow, it will be seen that anyone bent on unauthorized removal of the deposited fares can obtain access thereto by lowering of some object that can follow the same tortuous path in a vertical plane, and that is, adapted for adherence of the chute next below the same.
the fares thereto. As to this, it has been established that transit companies in cities throughout the United States have been relieved, in the manner indicated, of perhaps millions of dollars, by vehicle operators, bus mechanics, bus cleaners, and other employees bent on stealing from said companies. While, of course, the great majority of employees having access to the fare boxes are completely honest, nevertheless, a small percentage of thieving employees can steal very large sums of money, over a long period of, time, in the manner indicated.
, This is done, for example, by using a length of wide canvas webbing, or the like, to one end of which is secured aqweight. The weighted end of the webbing maybe provided with a flat under side, which is coated with an adhesive.
When such an article is lowered through the opening in the upper end of the fare box, it will follow the tortuous path previously described, audit the coins are positioned upon the till plate, they will adhere to the weighted lower end of the webbing or flexible band. Thereafter, the'webbing may be slowly pulled upwardly, to remove the coins. Even if the coins have been dropped into the storage section,'it is a simple matter to hold the till plate open and lower the webbing even further, so that it moves downwardly into the storage section. Such thievery, as will be readily appreciated, can be resorted to a'ones leisure, since the fares are quite commonly left in the sealed fare boxes overnight, while the buses or other public transportation-vehicles are parked in the garages of the transit companies.
In view of the problems which have been discussed above, it is proposed to provide a chute structure for fare boxes whichwill be so designed as to eliminate all possibility of theft of the fares. In this way, it is proposed, by use. of a chute structure constructed according to the present invention, to produce a great saving for the transit companies, at a comparatively small outlay for the improved fare box chute structures.
More specifically, it is proposed to provide a chute structure which wi-llinclude a series of vertically spaced, inclined chutes or ramps, each of which is designed to produce -a change indirection of the fare as it drops from the chute next above, in such a way as to cause the fare to travel through a substantially helical path. thus, the fare not only travels the zigzag path previously described herein, but also, is continually changing its course in a direction having a horizontal component.
Each leg of the zigzag path followed by the dropped 60 sides of the opening provided at the upper end of the fare box, with said uppermost chute extending at right angles to the chute next below the same, with each chute being extended at right angles to the next lower chute of the series. In this connection, it is proposed that all the chutes other than the uppermost chute will extend, in a preferred embodiment, over more than half the width of the transparent enclosure, the lower end of each chute terminating directly above the mid-width area of The net result of the preferred construction, it has been found in actual practice, is to produce a tamper-proof, theft-proof fare box that eliminates the thievery practiced on conventional fare boxes not having the construction of the present invention.
Another important object is to provide a chute structure of the 'kind described that can be swiftly substituted for conventional chute structures now in use, without requiring any modification or re-design of the storage or till sections. In this way, it is proposed to permit replacement of the presently used chute structures, at a minimum cost and with a minimum amount of labor expenses.
Another object is to provide a chute structure of the kind described that will be fully eflicient, so far as retarding the downward movement of the tokens is concerned, and that will also be fully eflicient in respect to permitting visual inspection of the fare, after deposit of the same in the fare box by the passenger.
Other objects will appear from the following description, the claim appended thereto, and from the annexed drawing, in which like reference characters designate like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a chute structure according to the present invention, a storage section on which the chute structure is mounted being illustrated fragmentarily, a portion of the chute structure being broken away to show the details of inner construction thereof;
FIGURE 2. is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view substantially on line 2-2 of FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal sectional view, on the same scale as FIGURE 2, taken substantially on line 33 of FIGURE 1.
Referring to the drawing in detail, the fare box illustrated in the several figures of the drawing includes a lower section generally designated 10. This is in the form of a hollow enclosure, and constitutes a storage or till section for fares gravitating into the same from a chute structure or top section 12 constituting the present invention.
The storage section is of conventional construction, and is ordinarily designed to be sealed or locked, in such a way as to permit the accumulation of fares therein, after which authorized personnel may unseal or unlock the same for the purpose of removing the contents. Storage section 10 can be of various types, and in the illustrated example includes a large, rectangular inlet opening 14 at its top, formed in and occupying the major part of the area of a horizontal top wall 16 of said storage section. Till plates or doors 18 normally close the opening 14 in the manner shown in FIGURE 2, pivoting on hinge pins 20 that extend along opposed edges of the opening 14. An operating linkage 22 is so designed as to permit both till plates 18 to be moved to open positions simultaneously. Since said linkage is wholly conventional, and does not constitute part of the present invention, it is not deemed necessary to describe the same in full detail herein.
It is sutficient to note that when coins are deposited in the chute structure 12, they gravitate to the till plates 18, where they can be visually inspected by the vehicle operator. Thereafter, the vehicle operator manipulates the operating linkage 22 in such a way as to open the till plates or doors 18. The deposited fares thus gravitate to the storage section 10. As previously noted herein, it has been entirely possible for individuals to lower flexible articles having adhesive on their lower ends, into the chute structure, to remove coins resting upon the till plates 18, or to remove coins that have already been dropped into the storage section 10.
Referring now to the improved chute structure or top section 12 that constitutes the present invention, this includes an upstanding, vertically elongated, transparently four sided housing generally designated at 23. The housing, in turn, includes a support frame, and transparent side walls, all of, which will be described in full detail hereinafter.
The support frame comprising part of the housing 23 has been generally designated 24. It includes a horizontal, rectangular base plate 25 resting upon the top wall 16 of the storage section 10 and formed with a large, rectangular opening 27 across which the till plates 18 extend when said till plates are in closed position.
The support frame further includes a rectangular series of vertically, upwardly extending corner posts 26. The corner posts 26 are formed as inwardly facing angle members, as best shown in FIGURE 1, and at their lower ends are welded, as at 29 to the base plate, in a typical arrangement.
Corner posts 26 are disposed at the several corners of the large opening 27 of the base plate 25, and also located at the corners of said opening 27 are vertically disposed, wide, flat side wall retaining strips 28. These extend diagonally across the inwardly facing, right-angular recesses defined by the angle members used as corner posts 26 (see FIGURE 1).
Extending along two, opposite sides of the opening 27 are horizontally disposed base strips 30, having beveled ends 31 abutting against the lower ends of the retaining strips 28.
The base strips 30, in the illustrated embodiment, are welded as at 33 to the base plate 25, and as a result, said base strips will hold the lower ends of the retaining strips 28 in place, when the retaining strips are inserted between the beveled ends 3-1 of the base strips, and the adjacent corner posts 26.
The support frame further includes a cover plate or top wall 32. In the illustrated example, said cover plate includes a depending, continuous, peripheral flange 34 extending about the upper ends of the corner posts 26, the cover plate being supported directly against said upper ends of the corner posts. The cover plate or top wall is formed with a depressed body portion 36, the walls of which converge downwardly to the edge of a rectangular center opening 37 into which the passenger drops the fare. Rectangular opening 37 is bounded by a depending lip 38 integral with body part 36.
The illustrated construction is such as to cause the cover plate, when properly positioned upon the upper ends of the corner posts, to enclose and properly position the upper ends of the retaining strips 28. As a result, the retaining strips and corner posts cooperate in clampably engaging between the same the side edge portions of the transparent side walls 40 of the housing.
The support frame is so designed as to be fixedly, but removably mounted upon the storage section 10. To this end, there may be provided elongated, rectangularly spaced, vertically disposed mounting bolts 42. Said mounting bolts, in the illustrated example, extend downwardly in the spaces between the retaining strips 28 and their associated corner posts 26 (see FIGURE 1). At their upper ends, the bolts 42 are fixedly secured to the under side of the top Wall, as for example by means of welds 43 (see FIGURE 2).
The lower end portions of the bolts 42 extend through openings provided in the base plate 25, said openings registering with openings provided in the top wall 16 ofthe storage section. As a result, to mount the chute structure upon the storage section, one merely positions the lower ends of the bolts 42 through the registered openings of the base plate 25 and top wall 16. Thereafter, nuts 44 are applied, to fixedly connect the chute structure to the storage section.
This arrangement is one which will prevent the chute structure from being removed or disassembled, by any unauthorized individual. The removal of the chute structure, or the disassembly thereof, can be effected only from within the storage section, after unlocking and opening of said storage section.
The arrangement further permits the replacement of any wall 40, should the same become broken. One need merely remove bolts 44, thereby permitting the top wall or cover plate 32 to be removed. This exposes the upper ends of the side walls 40, which can be slid upwardly flom their assigned positions and removed, for replacement.
This completes the construction of the housing which, as noted above, comprises a support frame composed of the base plate 25, corner posts 26, retaining strips 28, base strips 30, top Wall 32, and bolts 42, and which further comprises the transparent side walls 40.
In addition tothe above-described housing, the invention includes a series of inclined chutes, each of which will be described in turn.
A plurality of downwardly inclined overlapping plates arranged in superimposed spaced relation, each extending from a different one of the sides of the four-sided housing 23, are positioned within the housing so that the uppermost one of the plates is below and adjacent the fare receiving opening 37 and the lowermost one of the plates is adjacent to and spaced above the fare discharge opening 27, and are fixedly supported from the sides of the housing 23. The plates other than the uppermost one are of a width substantially that of the adjacent part of the housing 23 with the uppermost plate of a Width slightly larger than the fare receiving opening 37. The free lower edge of each of the plates has a plurality of elongated teeth which project therefrom and extend along the entire length thereof. Specifically, there is a bottom chute generally designated 46, which includes a steeply inclined plate or body portion 48 integrally formed along one side edge thereof with an upwardly directed side flange 50. At its other side, body portion 48 is integrally formed with an abutment plate 52, which is in overlying relation to the adjacent side wall 40. Plate 52 extends upwardly a substantial distance as shown to best advantage in FIGURE 3, and as a result, when coins drop onto the chute 46, they may first strike the plate 52, thereby preventing scratching or breaking of the side wall 40. Parenthetically, it may be noted that the side wall 40 in a typical arrangement would be of glass construction, although obviously, said side wall could be of a clear plastic or other suitable material.
In any event, extending transversely of the body portion 48, at the upper end thereof, is a vertically disposed mounting plate 54 which is integral with the body portion, and which is welded at its opposite sides to the adjacent retaining strips 28. Other connecting means for mounting the chute 46 upon the support frame can, of course, be employed if desired.
As shown in FIGURE 1, the abutment plate 52, at its upper end, is provided at one side with an inwardly projecting tongue 56, which may be found desirable to deflect stray coins into the chute 46 as they drop off the chute next above the same.
In the illustrated example (see FIGURE 3), the chute 46 is progressively reduced in width in a direction toward its lower end, but even at its point of minimum width, extends over the greatest part of the transverse dimension of the housing 23.
At the lower end of the chute 46, there are provided teeth 58. Said teeth are in the form of stout, sharply tipped prongs, in the illustrated example, but the teeth could be integrally provided upon the lower end of the body portion, should one so desire. In any event, in the arrangement shown, the body portion 48 is integrally formed at its lower end with a downwardly reversely extending lip 60, having apertures 61 spaced uniformly over the full width of the lower end of the chute, with the teeth being fixedly engaged in said apertures.
The teeth extend as prolongations of the inclined body portion, and it will be understood that should one attempt to insert a flexible member, formed of canvas webbing or the like, in the chute structure for the purpose of removing coins, the teeth tend to engage said member against withdrawal.
An intermediate chute 62 includes a steeply inclined body portion 64, at the upper end of which there is provided a vertically disposed mounting plate 65. Along one side of the body portion 64 there is integrally formed an upwardly projecting side flange 66, while at the other side there is provided a high, 'wide' abutment plate 68 overlying the adjacent wall 40 for the same purposes as the abutment plate-52. Transversely spaced, downwardly projecting teeth 70 are engaged in apertures of a lip 71 of the chute 62. Mounting plate 65, of course, is welded to the adjacent retaining strips 28.
The chute 62, as will be noted from FIGURE 2, is disposed in direct contact with one side wall 40, along one side of the chute, with the other side of the chute being spaced a short distance from the opposite side wall 40. This chute, like the chute 46, is progressively reduced in width in a direction toward its lower end.
An uppermost chute generally designated 72 is sub stantially smaller in width than the other chutes, and includes a steeply inclined body portion 74. Transversely spaced teeth 76 are engaged in a lip 78 formed integrally upon the lower end of the body portion 74. Side walls 80 are also integrally for-med on the body portion 74 (see FIGURE 3), the upper ends of said side walls being welded or otherwise fixedly secured to the depending lip 38. The upper end of the body portion 74 is integral with a transversely disposed mounting plate 82 (FIGURE 2) which is also welded to the lip 38.
Thus, the chute 72 is secured to the top wall, along three sides of the opening 37.
It is important to note, at this time, the particular arrangement of the chutes relative to one another. Conventionally, said chutes decline from two, opposite walls of the housing, and as a result, when a coin isdropped into the chute structure, it travels downwardly in a zigzag path, but tends to remain in a single vertical plane. It follows that a piece of webbing or the like can be caused to follow the same path, remaining in a substantially vertical plane to facilitate unauthorized removal of the coins. In the invention, however, each chute is caused to decline from a side wall that is perpendicular to the side wall from which the next higher chute declines. Each chute, thus, is turned degrees in respect to the chute immediately above the same. The result is that a coin dropped into the opening 37 in effect travels through a helical path as it gravitates in a zigzag course through the chute structure. Noting FIGURE 2, for example, a coin dropped into opening 37 first slides down chute 72 in a direction to the right in FIGURE 2. The lower end of the chute 72 is disposed directly above the mid-width portion of the chute 62, and the coin now travels directly toward the viewer, that is, the coin is given a 90 degree change in direction as it continues its downward movement. Dropping off the chute 62, the coin strikes the chute 46, and is given another 90 degree change in direction, after which it falls onto the till plates 18. All of the chutes, it may be noted, are vertically spaced, and all of them extend below opening 37. This arrangement, it has been found, etfectively precludes unauthorized removal of the coins in the manner previously described.
It is believed apparent that the invention is not necessarily confined to the specific use or uses thereof described above, since it may be utilized for any purpose to which it may be suited. Nor is the invention to be necessarily limited to the specific construction illustrated and described, since such construction is only intended to be illustrative of the principles of operation and the means presently devised to carry out said principles, it being considered that the invention comprehends any changes in construction that may be permitted within the scope of the apepnded claim.
What is claimed is:
A fare box comprising a storage section and a chute section superimposed upon and supported upon said stor- 7 age section, said chute section comprising a four-sided housing provided with a fare receiving opening in the top and with a fare discharge opening in the bottom, a plurality of downwardly inclined overlapping plates arranged in superimposed spaced relation each extending from a different one of the sides of said four-sided housing positioned within said housing so that the uppermost one of said plates is below and adjacent the fare receiving opening and the lowermost one of said plates is adjacent to and spaced above the fare discharge opening and fixedly supported from the sides of said housing, the plates other than the uppermost one being of a Width substantially that of the adjacent side of said housing with the uppermost plate of a width slightly larger than said fare receiving opening, the free lower edge of each of said plates having a plurality of elongated teeth projecting therefrom and extending along the entire length thereof.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 100,758 Hathorn Mar. 15, 1870 532,505 Wall Jan. 15, 1895 1,194,950 Burrows Aug. 15, 1916 1,373,798 Chmurski Apr. 5, 1921 1,534,163 COX Apr. 21, 1925 2,119,592 Macdonald June 7, 1938 2,146,974 Mitford Feb. 14, 1939 2,884,188 Grant Apr. 28, 1959