US 3275229 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 27, 1966 w, TURNER ILLUMINATED MAIL BOX Filed May 17, 1965 INVENTOR, fV/zu/w 6 7/0/58 BY WW4.
ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,275,229 ILLUMINATED MAIL BOX William G. Turner, 23 Hill St., Orono, Maine Filed May 17, 1965, Ser. No. 456,165 4 Claims. (Cl. 23234) This invention relates generally to receptacles. and more particularly to an illuminated mail box which serves to light the area in which it is disposed as well as protect articles deposited in the mail box and apprise the person for whom the articles are intended.
Primary objects of the present invention are to provide illuminated mail box which includes a substantially sealed light-source containing recess; an illuminated mail box which includes an illuminable signal flag which can be illuminated by manipulation of the person depositing articles therein; an illuminated mail box which will be automatically illuminated during the hours when suflicient daylight is not present.
These together with other objects and advantages will become apparent from a consideration of the following description when taken in conjunction with the drawing forming a part thereof.
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of the novel illuminated mail box with a portion of the support broken away and showing in phantom lines the nonsignaling position of the signal flag;
FIGURE 2 is a vertical section taken on line 22 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is an exploded perspective view of the lower support frame of the illuminated mail box; and
FIGURE 4 is a wiring diagram of the mail box.
The illuminating source can be illuminated from a remote area, i.e., from ones house, and specific details of this conventional wiring *will not be shown. Further, although fluorescent lights are disclosed as the light source, a conventional incandescent light source may be utilized in the invention.
Referring to the drawing in detail, an illuminated mail box is indicated generally at and comprises a lower support frame indicated generally at 12 and an upper receptacle indicated generally at 14.
The support frame 12 comprises a support post 16, suitably anchored at its lower end, and including an upper, apertured mounting flange 18.
Secured to the flange 18 by means of suitable base 20 is a rectangular collar indicated generally at 22. The collar 22 may be produced from any suitable material, i.e., metal or plastic, and has supported on lower opposed flanges 24 a sheet of transparent material 26 produced from glass, plastic, etc.
Mounted on opposed support plates 28 are mounting brackets 30 of fluorescent light assemblies 32. Inoandescent light assemblies could be used in the recess bordered by the collar 22 and the light assemblies 32 will be wired in any suitable manner; for example, a current source could be connected through post 16 by conductors and a remote switch could be located in a remote home (not shown).
The collar 22 has secured at the corners, adjacentthe upper edge thereof, gusset plates 34 which are transversely apertured and which reinforce the collar.
The receptacle 14 comprises a housing 36 which has an upper arcuate dome portion 38 which includes parallel side walls 40 and 42 depending below, at 43 and 44, respectively, a transverse bottom wall 46. The housing 36 is produced from a suitable material, preferably a substantially transparent plastic whereby the articles deposited therein may be observed without opening the receptacle. A back wall 50 of the housing 36 also includes a depending flange 52, and a closure plate or door 54 is hingedly connected at 56 to the lower portion of the housing, and includes a latch element 58 at the upper end engageable with a cooperating latch element 60 projecting forwardly from the top of the housing.
The wall portions 43, 44 and 52 as well as the lower portion of the door panel 54 will drape over the upper edge of the collar 22 to prevent rain, snow, etc. from entering into the receptacle formed for the light source. The bottom wall includes at the corners thereof suitably threaded apertures 62 (not shown in detail) for receiving therein wing bolts 64 which will serve to detachably mount the housing 36 on the collar 22 and permit ready access to the light source for maintenance and repair.
It will be observed that the light source is substantially sealed and protected by the transparent panel 26 and bottom wall 48 of the housing, and rain, etc. will drain off the housing at flanges 43, 44, 52 and the door panel and the entry of moisture into the light-containing receptacle will be substantially obviated. Further, when the light source is activated, light will be cast below the assembly and generally illuminate the surrounding area.
An illuminable signal flag is provided, and means are provided to automatically illuminate the light source during darkness.
The wall 42 of the housing has intermediat/ely pivoted at 64 a red signal flag 66 which is generally conventional. The flag 66 is preferably produced from Lucite which will transmit light rays along its longitudinal axis. Stop pins 68 and 70 will orient the staff portion 72 of the flag 66 during the nonsignal position shown at 66' and the signal position shown at 66. The collar 22 has an aperture 74 through which light rays from the light source 32 will emanate, and the stalf 72 includes a lower foot portion 76 alignable with aperture 74 when the staff 72 is .in the signal position. When the light source is energized, light rays will be transmitted through the Lucite flag and the peripheral edges 78 of the flag will be illuminated or glow to apprise a person, at a remote location, that mail has been deposited in the housing 36.
Fixed to the pivot 64 is a suitable switch 80 which will be closed when the flag 66 is in the signal position, i.e., the light source will be energized, the assembly will be illuminated, and the flag will be illuminated at the edges 78.
Considering FIGURE 4, a preferred circuit 82includes a source 84 of alternating current which is connected in series with the switch 80 operable by flag 66, as previously mentioned. If desired, a solar or photoelectric cell 86 is connected in the circuit 82, and is operatively connected to a relay 88 which will be closed when current is not generated at the cell 86. When a certain degree of darkness occurs, the light source 32 will be illuminated. However, the flag 66 would not be illuminated until foot portion 76 is aligned with aperture 74, i.e., when the flag is in the signal position.
Although an automatic operating circuit, or flag operated circuit is disclosed, although not shown, a conventional remote manually operated circuit can be utilized to activate the light source from a remote location, i.e., from ones home, etc. at a considerable distance from the mail box.
It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention and therefore the invention is not limited to What is shown in the drawings and described in the specification, but only as indicated in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An illuminated mail box comprising a support frame, and a receptacle mounted on said support frame, means removably mounting said receptacle on said support frame, said support frame comprising a substantially sealed compartment through which light rays will penetrate, an electrically energized light source contained in said substantially sealed compartment, said receptacle comprising a housing having a door control panel controlling access to the interior thereof, and a signal flag pivotally :mounted on said housing and having an upper flag portion positionable above the upper portion of said housing, said support frame comprising a collar member including a lower transparent closure panel defining a bottom of said compartment, said housing having a lower peripheral portion draping over the upper edges of said collar and including a bottom wall overlying and forming the upper limits of said substantially sealed compartment.
2. An illuminated mail box comprising a support frame, and a receptacle mounted on said support frame, means removably mounting said receptacle on said support frame, said support frame comprising a substantially sealed compartment through which light rays will penetrate, an electrically energized light source contained in said substantially sealed compartment, said receptacle comprising a housing having a door control panel controlling access to the interior thereof, and a signal flag pivotally mounted on said housing and having an upper flag portion positionable above the upper portion of said housing, said signal flag comprising a light transmitting 25 element, said support frame including an aperture portion through which light rays from said light source will emanate, said signal flag including a lower foot portion alignable with said aperture portion whereby light rays will be transmitted through said signal flag and the flag will be substantially illuminated.
3. The structure of claim 1 including a flag-controlled switch operatively and circuit connected between said signal flag and said light source, said signal flag having a signal position for closing said switch for energizing said light source.
4. The structure as claimed in claim 1 including a circuit including a light responsive cell operatively connected to said light source 'whereby said light source is energized automatically in relation to conditions of natural light.
References (Iited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 702,510 6/1902 Tracy et a1. 232 17 1,020,194 3/1912 Field 232-49 2,477,379 7/1949 Korth 232 34 2,670,897 10/1954 Gagnon 232 3s 3,107,848 10/1963 Penta 232 17 FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
FRANCIS K. ZUGEL, Examiner.