US 3183863 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 18, 1965 G. E. JEFFRES SAFE AND LOCKING MECHANISM 5 Filed Sept. 27, 1963 United States Patent 3,183,863 SAFE AND LDCKING MECHANISM George E. Jeflres, 1116 E. Taylor St, Bloomington, Ill. Filed Sept. 27, 1963, Ser. No. 312,195 2 Claims. (Cl. 10959) This invention relates to a container for holding valuables, and more particularly to a container having a body which is open at one end and a lift-off cover with a key operated locking mechanism attached to the cover. Containers of this type are especially suited for use in vehicles of delivery men and salesmen to hold receipts and also can be used in homes and in small businesses where large safes are not feasible. The container is intended to be fastened to the floor of the vehicle or structure so as to prevent its ready removal.
The container shown and described herein has advantages not found in previous containers of this type. For example, the cover can be fitted on the body in only one position, and when the cover is in that position, it can be rotated in only one direction toward and into its locking position. When the cover is in its locking position it can be rotated only in the reverse direction and into its lift off position. Further, the cover cannot be rotated past its locking or lift-off positions. These unique features enable the user to open and close the container easily and rapidly without delay that could be caused by placing the cover on the body in the wrong position or by turning the cover in the wrong direction when the cover is being opened or closed.
The construction of this container also permits the manufacturer to utilize a standard, commercially available padlock as a locking mechanism in lieu of more costly locking devices. Further, the key cannot be unintentionally left in the lock when the lock is opened and the cover removed. An additional advantage of this construction results from the utilization of a single handle to perform the functions of turning the cover to and from the locking position and of actuating the lock. Due to the novel construction of this locking device, the rotation of the cover to its locking position and the actuation of the lock can be performed by a continuous turning of the handle in one direction.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the following drawings and claims, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the container showing the cover positioned above the body;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged plan view of the container with the cover in the locked position and with some parts broken away and others shown in phantom or removed for clarity;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged view of the underside of the cover looking upward from the bottom with the bottom plate of the cover removed;
FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view taken along line 4-4 of FIGURE 2, the container body wall being shown broken away;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 6 is a reduced top plan view of the container body.
In general, the apparatus shown in the drawings to illustrate the invention comprises a tubular body having an open circular end portion 11. A flange comprised of arcuate segments or looking members 12 is affixed to the inside wall of the body and extends inwardly thereof adjacent to :and below the top edge 13 at the open end 11 of the body. In this embodiment, the flange is divided into three segments 12 by spaced openings or interrup- "Ice tions 14 and 15; A keyhole 16 extends through the wall 17 of the body 10 at the level of the flange and into the interruption 15.
A cover 18 comprises a top plate 19 having a diameter slightly less than the diameter of the open end 11 of the body so that it can be fitted snugly in the opening to rest on the flange segments 12 and close the container. Located on the underside of this plate around its periphery are a series of radially and inwardly extending flat elongated bars 20. The inwardly extending end portions of these bars are cantileverly attached to the underside of the plate 19 by spacer-s 21 of the same thickness or height as the flange segments 12, so that the end portions of the bars at the periphery of the cover are spaced below the underside of the top plate 19 a distance equal to the thickness of the flange segments. The bars and the underside of the plate 19 cooperate to form a channel at the periphery of the cover to receive the flanges. Thus, the bars can be shifted beneath the flange sections 12 to engage the undersides of these sections and thereby prevent movement of the cover axially and out of the tubular body 10.
In addition to acting as lugs to retain the cover in place on the container body, the bars 20 also cooperate with the flange segments 12 to insure that the cover can be assembled with the container body only in the position in which it can be locked. The spacing of the bars around the periphery of the cover plate 19 is such that two of the bars each align with an interruption 14 and the third aligns with the interruption 15 when the cover is in its lift-oft position. In the form of the invention shown in the drawings, the interruption 15 has a circumferential extent greater than that of an interruption 14 and the bars 20 have widths slightly less than that of an interruption 14. In order that the third bar 26 be insertable only in the interruption 15, a member 23 is fastened to the underside of the plate 19 adjacent to this bar. The member 23 and the third bar 20 combine to form a lug having a peripheral extent greater than that of an interruption 14 but slightly less than that of the interruption 15. Thus, the member 23 and its bar 20 can only be fitted into the interruption 15 and as a consequence, the cover 18 can be assembled on the container body in only one position.
The locking mechanism 22 in this instance includes a padlock with a body which is the member 23 and a shackle 25, the latter having secured to it a head portion 24 extending outwardly beyond the shackle and a bolt 26 extending alongside the body. The body 23 is positioned at the periphery of the cover and its keyway 32 opens radially and outwardly of the cover and is aligned with the keyhole 16 in the container body wall 17 when the cover is in its locked position. The bolt 26 is integral with the head portion 24 and extends radially of the cover and along a side 23a of the body 23 towards the periphery of the cover plate 19. When the locking mechanism is in its open or released position, the head portion 24 and its integral bolt 26 are urged away from the lock body 23 and the periphery of the cover by the action of the usual interior padlock spring (not shown) and also by another spring 27 which is stretched between eyes on the cover plate 19 and the head portion 24 of the lock mechanism.
When the cover 18 is in its lift-off position with the periphery of the cover plate 19 engaging the flange in the open end 11 of the container 19, the lock body 23 and its adjacent bar or lug 20 are located within the interruption 15. In this position, the side wall 23a of the lock body engages a circumferentially facing end wall 35 of the adjacent flange segment 12 to prevent counterclockwise rotation of the cover. Rotation of the cover thus can occur only in the clockwise direction. When the cover is rotated areaeee in this direction as viewed in FIG. 2, the lugs move into locking positions behind the flange segments 12.
Clockwise rotation of the cover can be continued until a wall 37a of a projection 37 affixed to the lock body 23 contacts an opposed circumferentially facing end wall 38 of the flange segment 12 at the opposite end of the interruption 15 the projection being disposed closely adjacent the underside of the cover as viewed in FIG. 4. Rotation of the cover to this position will align the keyway opening 32 of the lock body with the keyhole 16 in the wall of the container body since the keyway is spaced the same distance from the wall 3% as the keyhole is spaced from the end wall 38. The bolt 26 is of approximately the same circumferential width at its outer end as the lug 20 adjacent the lock body 23 so that when the cover has been rotated to the above mentioned locking position, the bolt can be shifted radially and outwardly into the space in the interruption 15 between the lock body wall 23a and the end wall 35 of the flange where its side wall 39 engages the flange Wall to prevent reverse rotation of the cover to its lift-off position.
Thus, the coaction of the stop surfaces 23a and 37a attached to the lock body 23 and the stop surfaces 35 and 38 at the ends of the flanges 12 defining the interruption 15 limits rotation of the cover 18 while it is engaged with the container to the are extending its first or lift-off position to its second or looking position. The opening and closing of the container is facilitated because this arrangement of stops prevents the rotation of the cover either in the wrong direction or past its locking or lift-off positions.
The construction and operation of the locking mechanism 22 and its actuating parts are as follows: An arm 28 located on the undersideof the cover plate 19 adjacent the head 24 is secured to the lower end of a shaft extending through and journaled in the cover plate and secured at its upper end to a handle 29 located on the upper side of the cover plate. Rotation of the handle 29 causes corresponding rotation of the arm 23 and movement of the arm into and out of engagement with the head 24. A stop 31 aflixed to the underside of the cover plate 19 limits rotation of the arm 28 in a direction away from the lock head 24.
When the locking mechanism 22 is in the unlocked position shown in FIG. 3, the bolt 26 and the head 24 are retracted towards the center of the cover plate 19 by the action of the spring means 27 and the interior padlock spring. When moving inwardly toward this position, the head 24 contacts the arm 28 and rotates this arm and its attached handle 29 in a counterclockwise direction (FIG- URE 2) until the arm 28 contacts and is prevented from further rotation by the stop 31. The engagement between the head 24 and the arm 28 in turn stops further movement of the head away from the lock body 23.
With the bolt 26 retracted as described above and with the lock body 23 and its adjoining lug 20 located in their lift-off position in registry with the interruption 15, the cover 18 can be lowered into the container body until the underside of the cover plate 19 engages the upper surface of the flange segments 12. In this position, as previously described, the side wall 23a of the lock body 23 contacts the end wall of the interruption 1'5 and prevents rotation of the cover counterclockwise as viewed in FIGURE 2 and away from the locking position. The end portion 36 of the bolt 26 which is retracted from the periphery of the cover plate contacts the wall 34 of the flange segment 12 and radial and outward movement of the bolt and its integral head portion 24 of the lock mechanism 22 towards the periphery of the cover is prevented. The head 24 is in engagement with the arm 28, thus preventing rotation of the arm or the connected handle 29 relative to the cover and towards the locking position of the cover as long as the bolt end 26 contacts the flange wall 34.
With the handle 29 thus locked against rotation relative to the cover 18, clockwise movement of the handle 29 (FIGURE 2) will cause rotation of the cover 18 in a clockwise direction and will move the lugs or bars 2% beneath and into engagement with the underside of the flange segments 12. The cover can thus be rotated in a clockwise direction until the wall 37a: of the projection 37 aflixed to the lock body 23 contacts the opposite wall 38 of the interruption 15. At this point, the bolt 36 clears the end wall 35 of the flange and is free to be moved into the interruption 15 by the arm 28 upon continued clockwise rotation of the handle 29. This additional clockwise rotation of the handle causes the arm 23 to urge the head portion 24 of the lock 22 toward the body portion 23 of the lock mechanism and the shackle 25 into the body until the padlock operates to hold the shackle in such position. This radial outward movement of the head portion 24 also pushes the bolt 26 into the interruption 15 between the lock body 23 and the flange end wall 35.
With the padlock actuated to hold the head portion 24 in engagement with the body portion 23 of the lock as shown in FIG. 2, the bolt 26 is held adjacent to the periphery of the cover plate 19. In this position, the portion 39 of the bolt 26 contacts the end wall 35 of the interruption 15 and prevents rotation of the cover 18 in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2. The engagement of the lugs 26 with the underside of the flanges 12 prevents upward movement or lifting off of the cover.
When the cover is in its locked position, as shown in FIGURE 2, the keyway opening 32 in the lock body 23 is in alignment with the keyhole 16 in the wall 17 of the container 16, as previously described. To open the container, a key so must be inserted through the keyhole 16 and into the keyway opening 32. Turning of the key releases the head portion 24 of the lock mechanism 22 from the body portion 23 and the influence of the spring means 27 and the padlock spring retracts the head portion from engagement with the body portion and its integral bolt 2s from the interruption 15. When the key extends through the keyhole 16 and into the keyway opening 32, the cover cannot be rotated due to contact of the key with the wall 17 of the container body. Removal of the key from the lock thus is required before the cover can be rotated from its locking position.
Withthe bolt retracted and the key removed, counterclockwise rotation of the handle 29, as seen in FIG. 2, will cause the arm 28 to engage its stop 31 and prevent further rotation of the handle relative to the cover plate 19. The continued exertion of force on the handle in this direction will result in counterclockwise rotation of the cover and movement of the lugs 20 into alignment with the interruptions 14 and 15. Continued rotation of the cover in said counterclockwise direction will bring the side wall of the lock body 23 into engagement with the wall 35 of the interruption 15 and thus stop counterclockwise rotation of the cover. The cover is now in its lift-off position where its lugs 20 are free of the flange segments 12 so that it can be lifted axially of and off the container body 10.
If desired, a circular plate 33 may be removably affixed to theunderside of the lugs 20 and lock body 23 to form a baifle to protect the moving parts of the cover mechanism. This'plate has a diameter slightly less than the diameter of the circle formed by the walls 34 of the flange segments 12 so that it fits inside the flange segments when the cover plate 15! is supported on the segments.
It will be apparent from the foregoing description that the container can easily and quickly be opened and closed without lost time and movements caused by placing the cover on the container body in the wrong angular position or by rotating the cover in the Wrong direction. Also, the provision of a single handle both to manipulate the cover and actuate the locking mechanism permits the closing and locking of the container to be accomplished by a continuous movement of the handle. ,Along with these advantages, the container is inexpensive to manufacture due in part to the use of an inexpensive and readily available padlock as the locking mechanism,
Whereas I have shown and described an operative form of the invention, it should be understood that this showing and description thereof should be taken in an illustrative or diagrammatic sense only. There are many modifications in and to the invention which will fall within the scope and spirit thereof as defined in the appended claims and will be apparent to those skilled in the art.
1. A safe having, in combination, an elongated tubular container open at one end, an interrupted flange member extending around the interior of said container adjacent said open end, a cover adapted to fit into and close said open end and having inner and outer sides and lugs spaced from each other and the inner side of the cover to move through interruptions in said flange member during movement of the cover axially into a lift-off position of engagement with the member and to move inwardly behind the member as an incident to turning of the cover from the lift-oh position to a locked position to retain the cover in engagement with the member, a stop rigid with the interior of said container, a lock mechanism carried by the inner side of said cover and having a bolt movable radially of the cover and into and out of a position of radial overlap with the stop to prevent rotation of the cover from said locked position to said lift-01f position, yieldable means normally urging said bolt out of said radial overlap position, said lock mechanism having a radially facing keyway and normally acting on said bolt to retain the same against movement radially out of said overlap position under the action of said yieldable means but releasing the bolt for movement out of the overlap position in response to operation of a key in said keyway, means on said container defining a radially opening keyhole in registry with said keyway when said cover is in said locked position and out of registry when the cover is rotated away from the locked position and toward said liftoff position whereby a key extending through said keyhole and into said keyway prevents rotation of the cover out of the locked position, a handle mounted on the exterior of said cover and rotatable about an axis extending longitudinally of the container, and an arm located on the inner side of said cover and movable with said handle and relative to the cover in one direction to shift said bolt against the action of said yieldable means and into said radially overlapping position, said arm being movable angnlarly with said handle in the opposite direction to engage a stop on said cover and rotate the cover away from said locked position and into said lift-oil position.
2. A safe having, in combination, an elongated tubular container open at one end, an interrupted flange member extending around the interior of said container adjacent said open end, a cover adapted to fit into and close said open end and having inner and outer sides and lugs spaced from each other and the inner side of the cover to move through interruptions in said flange member during movement of the cover axially into a lift-off position of engagement with the member and to move inwardly behind the member as an incident to turning of the cover from the lift-oil position to a locked position to retain the cover in engagement with the member, a stop rigid with the interior of said container, a key operated padlock having a body secured to said inner side of said cover with the keyway of the lock opening radially and outwardly of the cover and the shackle movable radially of the cover and into and out of its locked position, said shackle being yieldably urged out of its locked position, a surface movable with said shackle and into and out of a position of radial overlap with said stop when the shackle is in its locked position to prevent turning of said cover away from its locked position and into said lift-off position, said container having a radial opening registering with said keyway to permit receipt of a key for release of said shackle when said cover is in said locked position, a handle rotatably mounted on said cover, and a lost motion connection between said handle and said shackle operable to shift the shackle relative to the cover and into its locked position during movement of the handle relative to the cover.
CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Examiner.
REINALDO P. MACHADO, Examiner.