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Publication numberUS3215262 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 2, 1965
Filing dateDec 27, 1963
Priority dateDec 27, 1963
Publication numberUS 3215262 A, US 3215262A, US-A-3215262, US3215262 A, US3215262A
InventorsFernandez Nicholas B, Rowles Norman B
Original AssigneeFernandez Nicholas B, Rowles Norman B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3215262 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

2, 1965 N. B. FERNANDEZ ETAL 3,215,262


Filed Dec. 27, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Nicholas B. Fernandez Norman B. Row/es INVENTORS BY onl 3% United States Patent 3,215,262 LOCK Nicholas B. Fernandez, Mineral Springs, Pa., and Norman B. Rowles, Woodland, Pa. Filed Dec. 27, 1963, Ser. No. 333,818 Claims. (Cl. 206-15) This invention comprises a novel and useful lock and more particularly pertains to a box or cabinet having a concealed lock for retaining its cover in a closed position.

It is often advantageous for various reasons to retain the cover of a box or cabinet in a closed position by a locking mechanism which is completely concealed and affords no visible means for access thereto or for operation thereof. Among such desiderata are the novelty value of the arrangement, the protection of the locking mechanism against damage or deterioration through normal usage or other conditions and the increased security afforded to the contents of the box or cabinet.

It is therefore the primary purpose of this invention to provide a concealed lock mechanism especially adapted for use in selectively locking the closures of boxes or cabinets and which will afford no visible means of operation.

A further object of the invention is to provide a device in accordance with the foregoing objects wherein the lock mechanism and its operating means shall be of extremely simple yet efficient and dependable construction.

Still another purpose of the invention is to provide a device in accordance with the preceding objects wherein the locking mechanism and its operating means shall be completely concealed, hidden and housed in a secret compartment within the interior of the box or cabinet.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a locking mechanism in accordance with the foregoing objects in which the latch means shall be spring-urged to its closure locking position together with means for retaining the latch means out of contact with the latch keeper so that the box cover may be repeatedly opened and closed when desired.

A still further purpose of the invention is to provide a locking mechanism in accordance with the immediately preceding object wherein the locking mechanism is capable of alternative or selective operation to release the latch means from the keeper for but a single opening and closing of the cover of the box or alternatively for retaining the latch in a release position for repeated openings and closings of the cover of the box.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing a box in which the locking mechanism in accordance with this invention has been embodied, and illustrating the lack of visual indication of the locking means or locking mechanism or a lock releasing means;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the box of FIGURE 1 in its cover open position;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary view in vertical longitudinal section taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 33 of FIGURE 2 through the hidden lock mechanism compartment of the box and showing the position of the locking mechanism therein, with the latch being in its locking position and with the position of the lock mechanism key being shown in preparation for its use;

FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 3 but showing the position of the parts after the key has been utilized 3,215,262 Patented Nov. 2, 1965 to disengage the latch to permit but a single operation of opening and closing the lid of the box;

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary view similar to FIGURE 3 but showing the position of the latch when the latter is moved into and retained in its release position for repeated openings and closings of the box lid;

FIGURE 6 is a further detail view in vertical transverse section taken substantially upon the plane indicated by the section line 66 of FIGURE 3 and showing the position of the parts in the latch-engaged position of the mechanism; and

FIGURE 7 is an exploded perspective view of the various components of the lock, its actuating mechanism and the lock key.

Although the concealed lock and lock operating mechanism of this invention may be employed in many different environments, it sutlices for an understanding of this mechanism and one manner of its use to depict and disclose its mounting in a 'box or cabinet. Accordingly, the numeral 10 designates generally any suitable form of box or cabinet having a conventional top, lid, cover or closure 12 which latter may be secured as by hinges 14 to one of the walls of the box. As shown in FIGURE 2, this box may have a pair of end walls as at 20, a back wall 22 to which the hinges 14 are secured together with a front wall 24 which is opposite the back wall.

In accordance with this invention there is provided a hidden or secret compartment within the box in which the lock mechanism and its operating means is concealed and protectively housed. Thus, there is provided as shown best in FIGURE 6, a partition 26 which extends vertically from the bottom 28 of the box upwardly to the top of the front wall 24 in a position to be engaged by the underside of the cover 12 when the latter is in its closed position as shown in FIGURE 6. In addition, the partition 26 is extended across the entire length of the box between the two end walls so as to completely close off a relatively narrow lock compartment 30 which is disposed immediately adjacent to the front wall 24. The partition 26 further has a top wall as at 32 which overlies the compartrnent 30 as will be best apparent from a consideration of FIGURES 3-5. This partition top wall 32 is provided at any suitable location thereon with an opening 34 therethrough and a latch keeper in the form of an eye screw 38 or any other member carried by the lid 12 is adapted to project downwardly through the opening 34 into the compartment 30 where it is engageable by the latch means for locking the lid in a manner to be subsequently set forth.

As so far described, the arrangement is such that when the lid of the box is open, all that can be seen is the opening 34 and the immediately adjacent portion of the latch lever disposed therebeneath.

Referring next primarily to FIGURES 3-5 in conjunction with FIGURE 7, it will be observed that the latch mechanism consists of a flat metallic strip 40 comprising a latch lever which is apertured as at 42 at its lower extremity for attachment as by fastening screw 44 to the front wall 24 near the lower end of the compartment 30. At its upper end, the latch member is provided with a hook 46 which is so positioned that upon swinging movement of the latch into the position shown in FIGURE 3, the hook 46 will be caused to engage in the eye of the eyescrew 38 or the latch keeper and thus securely lock the lid 12 upon the box 10. Intermediate its ends and closely adjacent to the latch hook 46, the latch member 40 is provided with an arcuately and transversely extending slot 50 through which is secured a fastener such as a screw 52 also engaged in the front wall 24 and which thus limits the swinging movement of the latch lever between the latch position as shown in FIGURE 3, the single 3 operation position of FIGURE 4 and the fully released position of FIGURE 5.

There is further provided in the compartment 30 a mounting bracket or housing 54 which is L-shaped in configuration and which provides a relatively large chamber 56 in its upper portion and a relatively smaller chamber 58 at its lower portion. These chambers consist of slots extending transversely throughout the entire width of the bracket 54 with the slots being closed at opposite ends by the front wall 24 and by the partition 26. Fasteners such as those indicated at 60 serve to secure the member 54 in position. As noted in FIGURES 3-5 the chambers or recesses 56 and 58 open toward the latch lever 40. A permanent horseshoe-type of magnet 62 is secured in the recess 56 as by a fastener screw or the like 64 with its two poles being disposed closely adjacent to the latch lever. Received in the recess or compartment 58 is a compression spring 66 which bears against the side of the latch lever 40 and yieldingly urges it toward its latching position.

The arrangement is such that in the latch position, the spring retains the lever in the position shown in FIGURE 3 with the latch hook 46 being engaged in the retainer 38. At this time, the latch lever is too far removed from the magnet 62 to be affected by the latter. Consequently, the latch is retained in its locked position. When the latch lever is moved to intermediate position as shown in FIGURE 4 so that the hook 46 is disengaged from the retainer eye 38, the lid may be raised. However, when the latch actuating means is released the spring 66 will be effected to again move the lever into its latching position so that when the lid is again closed downwardly, the latch retainer eye 38 will bear upon the camming surface 70 upon the top of the latch hook, remove the latch lever sufiiciently so as to pass therebeneath and the spring will then again engage the latch hook in the latch retainer and lock the lid of the box. During this operation the latch lever is still too far from the magnet to be retained by the latter.

However, when the latch lever is actuated to its extreme position as shown in FIGURE so that the latch lever is actuated to its extreme position as shown in FIGURE 5 so that the latch lever is brought into contact with the magnet the latter will now hold and retain the latch lever against resistance of the spring 66 in its release position. At this time, the lid can be raised or lowered repeatedly since the latch lever will be ineffective and the spring thereof will be ineifective to again engage the latch and thus lock the lid of the box.

In order to effect this selective actuation of the latch lever, there is provided an actuating rod 72 which is journaled through an apertured lug 74 and between guide pins 76, each disposed in the upper portion of the compartment 30 and extending transversely thereof. The end of the latch actuating rod 72 is adapted to abut against the latch lever 40 just below the latching not-ch 78 thereof. An elongated slot as at 80 adjacent the extremity of the rod 72 is engaged by a guide pin 82 disposed transversely therethrough and through the guide lug 74 to prevent rotation of the latch lever rod and to limit its reciprocatory movement.

At its extreme end, the latch lever rod is provided with an actuating or footplate 84 which is disposed closely adjacent to the associated end wall 20 and which may slide upon the top Wall 32 of the compartment 30. The mem ber 84 comprises the actual means by which reciprocatory movement is imparted to the actuating rod 72 and thus produces operation of the latch to its releasing positions.

In order to effect actuation of the plate 84, there is provided a relatively small bore or passage as at 86 through the side wall 20 and just below and preferably at the junction of the lower edge of the lid 12 with the upper edge of the wall 20 of the box. A key in the form of a pin 88 having a fingergripping head 90 thereon is insertable through this bore and against the plate 84 so that by pushing upon the pin, the plate may be moved toward the right as viewed in FIGURES 35.

As previously mentioned, the arrangement is such that when the pin is moved and the latch actuating rod '72 is moved just a sufiicient distance to disengage the hook 46 from the retainer eye 38, the parts being shown in FIG- URE 4, the lid may be raised. Releasing the pin will then allow the spring to move the latch lever into a locking position so that when the lid is closed the box will be again locked.

However, when the latch rod is moved still further toward the right, as by continuing the movement indicated in FIGURE 4, the latch lever was brought into junction with the magnet 56 and the magnet 62 will then be retained therein so that when the actuator rod 72 is released, the latch will be retained in its released position. Thus, the lid of the box will be repeatedly opened and closed without danger of locking the same.

If desired, a spring or other resilient means may be connected to the rod 72 to yieldingly urge it away from the latch lever. Such a spring may conveniently surround and be engaged with the rod and abut against either the lug 74 or the guide pin 76 to perform this function.

It will further be noted that the magnet 62 may be swivelly mounted upon its pin 64 so that it may turn sufficiently to adjust itself to the inclination of the lever 40 and thus securely grip the latter. This position is indicated clearly in FIGURE 5 denoting the establishing of a firm magnetic grip of the magnet upon the lever to retain it in its latch-releasing position.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed as new is as follows:

1. A box having a lock compartment therein together with a closure movably mounted upon said box, said lock compartment having a top opening thereinto and a latch keeper on said cover movable into and out of said lock compartment through said top opening upon respective closing and opening movements of said closure, a latch mechanism disposed in said lock compartment and including a latch lever having a latch hook cooperating with said latch keeper, means pivotally mounting said latch lever for movement of said latch hook into and out of latching engagement with said latch keeper, means operatively connected to said latch lever and urging said latch hook toward latching engagement with said latch keeper, stop means engaging said latch lever and limiting it to pivotal movement from a fully latched position, through an intermediate latch release position and to an extreme latch release position, a latch release member guidingly mounted in said compartment for movement toward and from said latch lever with one portion of said member being engageable with said latch lever and operable to pivotally move the latter in a latch releasing movement toward said latch release positions, means manually operable from the exterior of said box for engaging another portion of said latch release member and effecting latch releasing movement thereof, retaining means in said compartment engageable by said latch lever only when the latter is in said extreme latch release position and retaining the latter in said extreme latch release position, said retaining means being a horseshoe magnet and at least a portion of said latch lever being of mag netizable material, and means pivotally mounting said magnet for oscillation thereby enabling its poles to adjustably and equally engage said latch lever portion.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said magnet is so positioned as not to engage the latch lever when the latter is in d intermediate latch release position.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said manually operable means comprises a pinhole opening through the wall of said box into said compartment and a latch actuator pin snugly slidably receivable through said pinhole opening into abutting engagement with said latch release member.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said member has an abutment surface engageable by said latch actuator pin and constituting a closure for said pinhole openmg.

5. A lock mechanism comprising a latch lever pivotally mounted at one end for swinging movement and having a latch hook at its other end, a latch keeper engageable by said hook, spring means on the opposite side of said lever from said hook and continuously urging said latch hook toward said latch keeper, a latch release rod on the same side of the latch lever as said latch hook and mounted for guided axial movement toward and from operable upon initial movement of said lever into keeper disengaged position and being operable upon further movement of said lever past said keeper disengaged position to an extreme release position in engagement with said retainer, said retainer maintaining the latch lever in the extreme release position.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner.

said latch lever and engageable with said latch lever for moving the latter against said spring means and out of 20 GEORGE RALSTON LOUIS MANCENE engagement with said keeper, magnetic retainer means in- Examiners.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1094773 *Aug 16, 1913Apr 28, 1914James F BeehlerBox lock or fastener.
US1133254 *Jul 26, 1912Mar 30, 1915Henry N BackusCrate-lock.
US2284294 *Oct 9, 1939May 26, 1942Andrew PetrusakKeyless lock
US2791346 *Jul 8, 1953May 7, 1957Gen Motors CorpMagnetic receiver
GB217445A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3809219 *Apr 14, 1972May 7, 1974Sony CorpTape cassette
US4508359 *Apr 18, 1983Apr 2, 1985Sperry CorporationAutomatic latch for draft member of bale handler
US4513999 *Apr 9, 1981Apr 30, 1985Regogollwitzer Gmbh And Co. KgCassette fastening structure
US5344010 *Mar 30, 1993Sep 6, 1994Metal Products CompanyHand gun case with lock and block
US8282140 *Oct 9, 2012Joy Heather LHidden locking mechanism for furniture
U.S. Classification206/1.5, 292/127
International ClassificationE05B37/00, E05B37/20
Cooperative ClassificationE05B37/20
European ClassificationE05B37/20