US 3115762 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
2 sheets-sheet 1 Filed June 14, 1962 INVENTOR. P/m/P Win50 Dec. 31, 1963 P. NEMSKY COMBINATION LOCK CLOSURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 14, 1962 I lln lll will INVENTOR. PH/L A ina'n United States Patent 3,115,762 COMBINATHGN LUCK CEAGSURE Phiiip Nemslry, 1507 26th Ave, San Francisco, Calif. Filed June 14, 1962, Ser. No. 2%,4432 5 Claims. (Cl. 7tl63) The present invention relates to an improvement in locked containers, and more particularly to an improved thread-operated combination lock for a container such as a toy bank or repository for valuables.
The present invention comprises, in brief, a container or housing having one or more chambers therein adapted to receive items for safekeeping such as coins or the like. In conjunction with this housing there is provided a slidable closure member which is adapted to be locked to the housing to prevent unauthorized access to the interior thereof. The housing defines, in addition to the above-noted chambers, an elongated slot open at one end for receiving combination locking means carried by the closure member. The combination locking means include a plurality of threaded members carrying locking keys and having control means disposed for actuation from the exterior of the housing with the closure member engaging same. The aforementioned keys are movable transversely to a direction of closure motion by rotation of thread means, and there are provided at least two separate key types in the plurality of same comprising the combination locking means. These keys co-operate with keyways formed in the housing slot, so that only by the appropriate orientation of the keys of different types is it possible to align each of the keys with a longitudinal keyway so as to release the closure member for sliding into and out of engagement with the housing.
A very simple and inexpensive structure is provided by the present invention, and yet there is attained maximum security by the combination locking means thereof. All of the elements of the container and combination locking means therefore are of quite simple and readily formed construction, and the invention is particularly well adapted to manufacture from plastics. A minimum number of separate parts are employed herein and each may be formed by conventional and inexpensive manufacture, so that there is attained hereby a truly practical combination lock box or the like having a substantially infinite number of possible combinations, and yet composed of only a minimum number of operating parts. Although the present invention may be employed in a wide variety of applications, it is particularly applicable to toy banks or combination lock merchandising containers.
The present invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a transverse sectional view taken in the plane 2-2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the open housing together with a partial perspective view of the closure means with one combination lock unit shown thereon; and
FIGURE 4 is a partial sectional view taken in a central longitudinal plane through the container and illustrating the relationship between the plurality of locking means and housing keyways.
Considering now the present invention in somewhat greater detail and referring to the drawings, there will be seen to be provided a combination lock container 11 including a housing 12 and a closure member 13 therefor. The housing, as best illustrated in FIGURE 3,
has a generally fiat plate 14 defining the top thereof and -may be provided with upstanding edges about three sides "ice to define longitudinal guide ways 16. The flat plate 13 of the closure means siides on top of the housing top 14 and may be guided longitudinallly of the top during such sliding by these guide ways. Depending from the top surface or plate 14 of the housing is a relatively large container 17 having a substantial opening at the top thereof through the housing top 14 and provided as a repository for articles of some size. This box 17 may be formed in part of transparent material, with the exception of the rear wall thereof, in order that the contents of the box may be viewed from the exterior of the container. The illustrated embodiment of the invention also includes a plurality of cylindrical containers 13 depending from the plate 14 and opening therethrough. These cylinders are formed of dilferent diameters corresponding to the sizes of coins, so as to accommodate stacking of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, for example, in separate cylinders.
The central longitudinal portion of the housing between the above-noted box and row of cylinders 18 is formed as a deep slot by a pair of side walls 21 and 22 and a bottom wall 23. The side walls 21 and 22 of the longitudinal slot 24- may be affixed to the box 17 and cylinders 18 for maximum rigidity, and in fact, the wall 21 may actually comprise the back wall of the box 17. This slot is open at the top and actually divides the top plate 14; of the housing into two parts, as clearly shown in FIGURE 3.
Locking of the closure plate 13 onto the housing in closing relation to the openings in the box 17 and cylinders 13 is accomplished by a plurality of thread lock means carried by the closure plate 13. These combination locking means are aligned longitudinally of the plate and depend therefrom, so as to slide into the slot 24 in the housing as the closure plate is slid onto the top of the housing. An individual one of these locking elements 26, as illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3, includes a vertical screw or threaded element 27 extending through the cover plate 13 and in substantial part depending therefrom. The threaded element 27 extends through the cover plate in rotatable relation thereto and may take the form of a bolt with the head thereof beneath the cover plate and resing within a channel 28, which may extend longitudinally of the cover in common with other thread lock elements. This channel is provided with internal projections 29 overlying the head 31 of the screw means 27, so that the threaded member 27 is free to rotate without longitudinal movement thereof. Above the cover plate 13 there is afiixed to the threaded element 27 a knob or the like 32, so that upon rotation of the knob by an operator or one using the invention the threaded element 27 will turn. A traveling nut unit 33 includes a nut threaded upon the bolt or the like 27 beneath the cover plate and fixed against rotation, so that upon turning of the knob this unit will be moved up or down the bolt or threaded element 27. A key 34 is carried by the traveling nut 33 and such key is formed as a short bar disposed longitudinally of the cover laterally outward from the threaded element 27 and the nut 33 thereon. This key'34 may be formed integrally with, or attached to, one or both of a pair of plates 36 disposed above and below the traveling nut 33. The total width of the traveling nut unit, i.e. the plates 36 and key 34, equals the width of the slot 24 in the housing, and there may be provided an additional bar or the like on the opposite side of the plates 36 from the key in order to insure this total width so that the unit readily slides in the slot 24 without wobbling or undue lateral motion. As an indication of the vertical position of the key 34, there is provided a vertical rod 37 extending upwardly from the top plate 36 engaging the key and through an opening in the cover plate 13. Movement of the traveling nut 33, and thus the key 34 along the threaded element 27, will thus be indicated by the amount of extension of this rod 37 above the cover plate. The knob 32 is provided with some marking or characteristic to precisely identify a desired vertical position of the key as indicated by the marker rod 37. In the illustration of FlGURE 2, there is shown to be provided a radial flange 38 about the knob 32 in such position to just touch the upper end of the rod 3? in the desired position of the key 34 for that particular thread lock mechanism.
There has been described above a single thread lock mechanism in which the key 34, illustrated in FIGURE 2, is actually connected to the upper plate 36 of the traveling nut unit. In accordance with the present invention, there are provided two different thread lock configurations in this respect, and the other, as shown in FIGURE 4, provides the key 3-4 in connection with the lower plate as of a traveling nut unit. it will be appreciated that various intermediate positions are also possible by varying the size or mounting of the key 34. In accordance herewith, the housing slot 24 defines a pair of longitudinal keyways so that appropriate orientation of the keys of the separate thread lock mechanisms will free the cover plate to slide into and out of engagement with the container housing.
The above-noted keyways in the housing slot 24 are herein provided by a longitudinal shoulder 41 along at least one wall 22 of the slot and spaced a short distance above the bottom 23 thereof. 'In conjunction therewith, there is provided a plurality of vertical ribs or bosses 42 spaced apart longitudinally of the housing and aligned longitudinally thereof. These ribs 42 are spaced a short distance above the shoulder 41 so as to define a first keyway 43 therebetween. The aligned tops of the vertical ribs 42 define an upper keyway 44.
The illustrated embodiment of the present invention includes some six separate thread look mechanisms 26, 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55 disposed in alignment with a common lower channel 28 and each having knobs projecting above the cover plate 13. As shown in FIGURE 4, the mechanisms as, 52, and 53 have the keys thereof disposed adjacent the top of the traveling nut mechanism upon the threaded members thereof, while the other mechanisms 51, 54, and 55 have the keys thereof disposed adjacent the bottom of the traveling nut arrangement. The channel 28 has the sides thereof extending upwardly a sufficient amount so that the bottom plate 36 of the traveling nut arrangement rests thereon to dispose the keys of the mechanisms 51, 54, and 55 in alignment with the lower keyway 43. Alternatively, the remaining mechanisms 26, 52, and 53 have the keys thereof aligned with the upper keyway 44 when the respective indicator rods 37 abut the flange about the knob of the mechanism. Consequently, the combination locking mechanism in the position illustrated in FIGURE 4 is adapted to slide in the housing slot 24 with the keys of mechanisms 26, 52, and 53 in the upper keyway 44, and the keys of the other mechanisms 51, 54, and S in the lower keyway 43.
in order to employ the thread lock container of the present invention as a bank or receptacle for coins, there are provided a plurality of slots si in the cover plate 13 in alignment with the separate cylinders 18. These slots may be made of appropriate length to accommodate the passage of single coins of a diameter to be received and stacked by the cooperating cylinder beneath same. There may also be provided an elongated slot 62 in the cover plate 13 over the box 17, in order that paper money, for example, may be inserted through the slot into the box. In addition to the foregoing, there is preferably provided an end plate 63 depending from the cover plate 13 across the outer end of the thread lock mechanism line. .This end plate 63 then serves to completely enarea 4 close the unit when the cover plate is slid into full engagement with the housing 12.
in use of the invention hereof, and with the cover plate and attached locking mechanism fully engaged with the housing, it is only necessary to twist the knobs atop the locking mechanisms in order to lock the cover plate in position upon the housing. By turning the knobs from the positions shown in FEGURE 4, it will be appreciated that the keys of the separate locking mechanisms are moved upwardly or downwardly between the ribs 42 on the side of the housing slot 24. In this position it is not possible to slide the cover plate off of the housing, inasmuch as the keys then engage these ribs 42. to prevent longitudinal movement of the cover plate and depending locking mechanisms. It is only by the orientation of keys with keyways that the cover plate is released. As shown in F G RE 4, but a single combination is possible to release all of the locking mechanisms so that the cover plate may be slidably removed from the housing. The combination illustrated comprises the rotation of mechanisms 26, 52, and 53 to the uppermost position, i.e. raising the indicator rods 37 thereof into engagement with the flanges upon the knobs above the cover plate. This then disposes the keys of these three mechanisms in alignment above the ribs 42 and thus free to move along the keyway 44. It is also necessary in freeing the cover plate to r0- tate the knobs of the mechanisms 51, 54, and 55 to lower the keys thereof to the lowermost position possible. In this position the indicator rods disappear from sight. With the keys of these mechanisms 51, 54, and 55 depressed to the greatest extent, they will be disposed below the lower edges of the ribs 42 and immediately above the shoulder 43., so as to be free to slide in the keyway 43, defined therebetween. In this position, then, the cover plate may he slid longitudinally out of engagement with the housing 12 so as to provide a ready access to the coin chambers and box normally covered by this cover plate. It will be seen that the keys 34 do not extend into close engagement with each other longitudinally of the array of locking mechanisms, but instead are spaced apart in this direction an amount at least equal to the width of the vertical ribs 42 on the side of the housing slot 24. These ribs 42 are, in fact, dimensioned and spaced in relationship to the locking mechanisms and spacing of portions thereof, so as to fit between the keys when the cover plate and depending locking mechanisms are fully inserted in the housing. The locking mechanism may also have spacers on the sides of the locking mechanisms opposite the key sides in order to provide for a slip fit of the locking mechanisms within the housing slot to further prevent lateral motion of these mechanisms. It is, of course, possible to provide keys and keyways on both sides of the engaging elements of the invention hereof, however, full and positive locking is afforded by keys upon a single side of the locking mechanisms co-operating with keyways defined in the housing on the same side.
Any other vertical disposition of any of the thread nut mechanisms of the separate locking mechanisms from that illustrated in FIGURE 4 and noted above will prevent relative movement of the cover plate and housing. Thus, with the cover plate in position in closing relationship to the housing openings, movement of the first locking mechanism 26 to dispose the key 34 thereof half way between the bottom and top of the possible travel of this key will then be seen to dispose the key 34 between a pair of vertical ribs 42 in the housing slot. :In this position, it is not possible to move the cover and attached locking mechanisms, for the key is not vertically aligned with a keyway extending longitudinally of the housing. Instead the key has been moved in what may be termed a vertical keyway in the housing, so as to prevent any relative longitudinal movement of cover and housing. It may be considered that the key of each of the locking mechanisms actually includes the traveling nut and associated structural elements, so that the locking mechanism then comprises a vertical screw member fixed against longitudinal motion but rotatably mounted so as to nrove the key up and down in response to rotation of a knob connected to the end of this screw member. Additionally, it is provided that the key cannot rotate but is instead held in a plane longitudinally of the alignment of looking mechanisms and beneath the cover plate 13. Thus, then, the present invention provides a simple locking mechanism for such as a toy bank or merchandise container which has an infinite number of possible combinations depending upon the relative positions of the vertical ribs 42 in the housing of the container, and the disposition of the keys upon the separate locking mechanisms or threaded elements thereof. It is, of course, possible rather than providing the particular combination illustrated, to employ any number of longitudinal keyways in the housing and also, for example, graduated scales fixed to the indicator rods 37 or knobs of the locking mechanisms adjacent these rods. This lateral alternative will be seen to be only a variation of the preferred embodiment illustrated and described, for there is yet provided for the controlled vertical displacement of a plurality of keys in response to rotation of threaded members for aligning particular keys with particular keyways extending longitudinally of a housing, so as to free a cover plate and the attached locking mechanism to slide into and out of engagement with the housing.
It is not intended to limit the present invention to the precise details of the preferred embodiment described above, but instead reference is made to the appended claims for a definition of the true scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A combination lock container comprising a housing having a slot therein with longituidnal keyways along at least one side thereof and with guide channels extending transversely from vertical openings between said keyways, said housing having longitudinal guideways.
a cover slidably engaging the guideways of said housing,
locking mechanism including a plurality of threaded means depending from said cover into said slot and rotatable from above said cover,
and a plurality of keys carried one by each of said threaded means and movable in said guide channels for positioning therealong by rotation of the threaded means,
said keys being movable through said vertical openings into said keyways whereby the cover and locking mechanisms slidably engage said slot and said keys being movable transversely of the keyways into said guide channels to lock the cover onto the housing.
2. A container with thread actuated combination looking means comprising a housing having an open top and defining at least one keyway therein with guide channels communicating with each keyway and extending transversely therefrom,
a cover plate slidably engaging said housing from one end thereof in housing guideways,
a plurality of threaded actuating means carried by said cover plate,
a first plurality of keys engaging separate threaded ac tuating means for movement in said guide channels into and out of sliding relation with a housing keyy,
and a second plurality of keys engaging different threaded actuating means in alternative relationship to said first plurality of keys for movement in said guide channels into and out of sliding relationship with a keyway in said housing,
whereby said cover plate slides into and out of engagement with said housing only with a particular setting of each of said threaded actuating means disposing each of said keys in sliding relation with a keyway.
3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 2 further defined by said thread actuating means each including an elongated threaded member extending through said cover plate in rotatable relation thereto,
and a plurality of traveling nuts individually threaded upon separate threaded members and each carrying a key,
whereby rotation of the threaded members from one side of said cover plate moves said keys on the opposite side.
4. A combination lock container comprising,
a housing having an elongated slot therein and an open a plurality of ribs along at least one side of said housing slot and defining keyways vertically of said slot,
at least one longitudinal shoulder along at least one side of said housing slot in vertically spaced relation to said ribs to define at least one keyway longitudinally of said slot in communication with the keyways vertically thereof,
a cover plate adapted for longitudinal slidable engagement with guideways of said housing over said slot,
and a plurality of thread lock mechanisms carried in alignment by said plate with control knobs on one side of said plate and threaded members on the other side with keys upon said threaded members for controlled movement in said vertical housing slot keyways into and out of alignment with said longitudinal housing slot keyways,
whereby said cover is movable onto and off of said housing by threaded alignment of keys with longitudinal keyways.
5. A container as set forth in claim 4 further defined by said thread lock mechanisms comprising a single channel disposed beneath said cover plate,
said threaded members each extending into said channel and rotatably secured thereat,
a plurality of traveling nuts disposed one upon each of said threaded members and restrained from rotation,
whereby rotation of control knobs move said traveling nuts up and down said threaded members,
and said keys having a length less than the separation of the ribs in said housing slot,
whereby rotation of control iknobs move keys in said vertical keyways out of said longitudinal keyways to lock the cover plate upon said housing.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,341,602 Swen-sen May 25, 1920 FOREIGN PATENTS 67,332 Norway J an. 24, 1944