US 3229903 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. G. SMITH MAIL BOX SIGNAL Jan. 18, 1966 Filed Feb. 24, 1965 FIG.I
4 FIG. 3
RICHARD G. SMITH INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,229,903 MAIL BOX SIGNAL Richard G. Smith, 7131 NW. 7th St. Oklahoma City, Okla. Filed Feb. 24, 1965, Ser. No. 434,820 4 Claims. (Cl. 23235) The present invention is a continuation-in-part of an application filed by me in the United States Patent Ofiice July 22, 1964, under Serial No. 384,412, for Mail Box Signal.
Mail boxes of the rural delivery type are usually positioned at the side of the road or street of the mail delivery route which is usually some distance from the dwelling of the owner of the mail box. To save useless trips to the mail box it is desirable for the mail box owner to known whether or not the mail carrier has deposited mail.
It is also desirable to provide a mail box signal adapted for wall mounted mail boxes for signalling the deposit of mail which may be seen by the home owner from another part of the house.
It is, therefore, the principal object of the present invention to provide an attachment for the door of a mail box of the type having a lid movable downwardly and outwardly about a horizontal hinge axis so that opening and closing the mail box door will actuate a mail delivery signal.
A similarly important object is to provide an attachment for the door of a mail box of the type having a lid which moves upwardly and downwardly about a horizontal hinge axis so that movement of the lid actuates the mail box signal.
Another important object is to provide a mail box mail deposit signal which requires no action on the part of the mail carrier other than the opening and closing of the mail box door.
Another object is to provide a mail box signal which is gravity actuated and easily manually reset to a non-signalling position.
A further object is to provide a mail delivery signal which is not affected by the weather and when moved to signalling position remains in such position until reset.
Yet another object is to provide a mail delivery signal which is simple in construction and is easily installed by the home owner.
The present invention accomplishes these and other objects by connecting a box-like housing to the outer surface of a mail box door or lid. An indicator or signal plate is vertically positioned slidably within the housing and is releasably held therein by gravity actuated latch means.
Other objects will be apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying single sheet of drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective View of a mail box having the device installed thereon;
FIGURE 2 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the device taken substantially along the line 22 of FIG. 3;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIGURE 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 44 of FIG. 3; and,
FIGURE 5 is a bottom view of FIG. 3.
Like characters of reference designate like parts in those figures of the drawings in which they occur.
In the drawings:
The reference numeral indicates, generally, a conventional mail container or box which is connected to a porch post or house wall, not shown. The mail box is rectangular in general configuration and is provided with a lid 12 at its upper end hingedly connected to the back wall of the mail box, adjacent the supporting surface, to form a horizontal axis about which the lid 12 is pivoted in a vertical direction when opening and closing the mail box. The lid is normally maintained closed by gravity.
The numeral 15 indicates the device, as a whole, comprising a rectangular container or housing 16 having a top 17, side walls 18 and 19, a front wall 20, a back wall 21 and a substantially open bottom as hereinafter described.
The back wall 21 is connected to the outer surface of the mail box lid in any desired conventional manner so that the top 17 is parallel with respect to the upper hingedly connected edge surface of the lid 12. A web or ledge 22 projects inwardly of the side wall 18 at the bottom of the housing and is joined at its ends to the front and back walls 20 and 21. Similarly a ledge 24 extends inwardly from the side wall 19 at the bottom of the housing between the front and back walls 20 and 21. The ledge 24 further includes an elongated rectangular projection or shelf 26 joined to the back wall 21 and having an opposite edge disposed in spaced relation with respect to the front wall 20. The shelf 26 terminates in spaced relation with respect to the vertical center of the housing. A latch 30, substantially rectangular in general configuration, is pivotally connected by a rivet 32 extending transversely through one end portion of the latch and through the back wall 21 for vertical pivoting movement of the latch about the horizontal axis formed by the rivet 32. An outstanding projection forming a stop 34 is transversely formed on the end surface of the latch adjacent the rivet 32 for the purposes presently explained. The latch is positioned so that its depending edge surface 36 contacts the upper surface of the shelf 26 to maintain the longitudinal axis of the latch parallel with respect to the plane defined by the bottom of the housing. The end portion of the latch opposite the stop 34 is angularly cut away or beveled, as at 38, for the purposes presently explained.
A substantially rectangular plate 40, having dimensions less than the inside dimensions of the housing 16, is positioned therein in parallel loosely contacting relation with respect to the inner surface of the forward wall 20. The plate 40 is characterized by a pair of oppositely directed outstanding lugs or ears 42 at its respective upper side edge surfaces. The purpose of the ears 42 is to contact the ledges 22 and 24, respectively, and prevent the plate 40 from falling out of the housing when moved to mail delivery signal position.
A keel 44 is secured to the surface of the plate 40, opposite the front wall 20, for contact of the depending edge surface of the keel with the upper surface of the latch 30 to normally support the plate within the housing.
Operation In operation the device is-installed on the lid 12 of a mail box with the plate retracted, as shown by solid lines. When mail is placed within the box 10, by pivoting the lid 12 about its hinge axis, the plate 40 is moved by gravity toward the top wall 17 of the housing which permits the latch 30 to pivot about its connecting rivet 32 so that when the lid 12 is closed the plate 40 slides downwardly through the open bottom of the housing until the ears 42 contact the ledges 22 and 24 thus signalling that a mail delivery has been made. During this action the stop 34 contacts the shelf 26 so that the latch 30 is returned to the position shown by FIG. 3. After removing mail from the box 10, the plate 40 is repositioned within the housing 16 by manually pushing the plate upwardly within the housing wherein the upper edge surface of the keel 44 contacts the beveled surface 38 of the latch to pivot the latter about the rivet 32 and permit the passage of the keel. When the plate 40 is released it is returned 3 by gravity to its position with the keel in contact with the latch 30.
Obviously the invention is susceptible to some change or alteration without defeating its practicability, and I therefore do not wish to be confined to the preferred embodiment shown in the drawings and described herein, further than I am limited by the scope of the appended claims.
1. A mail delivery signal for a mail box, comprising: a container having an opening for the removal and deposit of mail and provided with a hingedly mounted vertically swingable door providing access to the interior of said container; a housing fixedly secured exteriorly on said door, said housing having an opening in its bottom; oppositely disposed ledges projecting inwardly'across a portion of the opening; a shelf connected with one of said ledges and partially closing the bottom of said housing; a latch connected to said housing and supported by said shelf; an indicator plate disposed within said housing for movement from an elevated concealed position to a lowered revealed position; oppositely directed outstanding ears formed on said plate and engageable with said ledges; and a keel connected to one said surface of said plate, said keel being releasably engageable with said latch for supporting or releasing said plate.
2. A mail delivery signal for a mail box, comprising: a container having an opening for the removal and deposit of mail and provided with a hingedly mounted vertically swingable closing door; a housing secured exteriorly on said door, said housing having side, front, top and back walls and having an open bottom; a pair of ledges secured, respectively, to said side walls and projecting across a portion of the open bottom; a shelf secured to one of said ledges and to said back wall, said shelf partially closing the open bottom of said housing; latch means pivotally connected with the back wall of said housing for vertical pivoting movement, said latch means being normally supported by said shelf; an indicator plate disposed.
within said housing adjacent the front wall for movement from an elevated concealed position to a lowered revealed: position; oppositely directed ears formed on said plate 1 and engageable with said ledges to support said plate when:
in a revealed position; and a keel connected to said plate intermediate its ends, said keel being freely received slidably through the open bottom of said housing, said keel releasably engaging said latch means for supporting or releasing said plate.
3. Structure as specified in claim 2 in which said latch member away from said shelf.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 927,652 7/1909 Hart 23235 2,776,638 1/1957 Whitaker 116-35 2,807,410 9/1957 Ward 23235 2,856,123 10/1958 Mary 232.35
FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
R. B. FARLEY, Assistant Examiner.