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Publication numberUS3295124 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 27, 1966
Filing dateDec 26, 1962
Priority dateDec 26, 1962
Publication numberUS 3295124 A, US 3295124A, US-A-3295124, US3295124 A, US3295124A
InventorsBurleson Louis J, William Arnold
Original AssigneeViola Jackson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety mail box
US 3295124 A
Images(4)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

SAFETY MAIL BOX Filed Dec. 26, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 as r" 74 I02 \Lso 2a nos :50 ;no A 96 I38 I04 446 us i 58 W i 52 FIGZ INVENTORS LOUIS .1 sunuzson BY WILLIAM ARNOLD\ ATTORNEY 1966 L. J. BURLESON ETAL 3,295,124

SAFETY MAIL BOX Filed Dec. 26, 1962 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 a '1 zea 250- i 242 FIG. 4 226 236) 236 FIG. 5

FIG. 6 s

268 G38 252 212 J m 2 336 2a 266 f/t 27L?" I q f INVENTggsON 2, J J 330 LOUlS J. BURL 262 J 332 326 WILLIAM ARNOLD ATTORNEY Dec. 27,

Filed Dec.

1965 L. J. BURLESON ETAL 3,295,124

SAFETY MAIL BOX 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 504 I2 L 5'0 use F IG. u INVENTORS 466 506) LOUIS J. BURLESON i1 FIG. II BYWILLIAM ARNOLD 4642 468 Q4 4 DAL-044m ATTOR N EY 1966 L. J. BURLESON ETAL 3,295,124

SAFETY MAIL BOX 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed D90. 26, 1962 LOUIS J WILLIAM ARNOLD M ,4/, MM ATTORNEY 3 FIG. I5

.2 r 6981 sao United States Patent Kans.

Filed Dec. 26, 1962, Ser. No. 247,269 3 Claims. (Cl. 346-281) This invention relates to safety box means and in a more specific aspect to box means for the receipt of mail or the like. In a still more specific aspect the invention relates to safety mail boxes or the like having signal or alarm means therewith which are constructed and adapted so that the alarm means is operated when mail is inserted into a mail box or the like. In another specific aspect the invention relates to safety mail boxes or the like which have signal .means therewith including both visual and audible signals which are operated to indicate to the occupant of a house, apartment, etc. that mail is being inserted into or removed from the box and that the signaling apparatus is in an operative condition.

Various types of safety box means including mail boxes are known to the prior art. These includes box means having signaling means therewith which are operated upon opening or closing of the mail box to provide a signal to the house owner. However, the mail box means of the prior art in many instances do not provide both visual and audible signal means and in other instances one or both of the signal means are only intermittently operated upon insertion of mail or the like into the box so that the home owner is not warned everytime someone is opening and closing the mail box. In addition, the prior art signal type mail boxes or the like do not include means which prevent tampering with the signal apparatus to prevent operation thereof upon opening of the mail box to eliminate operation of the signal means.

In accordance with the present invention new safety box means for mail or the like are provided which overcome many of the disadvantages of the prior art devices. The safety box means of the invention include means which define a hollow receptacle which has an opening therein of size to receive and pass mail or the like into the receptacle. Switch means are mounted on the means defining the receptacle and have switch operator means therewith operable to connect and disconnect electrical contacts in the switch means. Electrically operated signal means are operatively connected to the electrical contacts in the switch means and to a source of electric power so that signal means are operated by movement of the switch operator means. Switch actuating means are movably mounted on the receptacle and have a portion thereof engagable with the switch operator means and movable relative thereto to open and close the switch means and control operation of the signal means. The switch engaging portion of the actuating means is positioned in the receptacle and moved to a position to close the contacts in the switch means everytime mail or the like is inserted into the receptacle through the opening.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide new safety box means for the receipt of mail or the like.

Another object of the invention is to provide new safety mail box means having both visual and audible signal means which are operated everytime mail or the like is inserted into the box means.

A further object of the invention is to provide new mail box means having signal means electrically connected to switch means in the box means and having upper and lower door means for insertion of and removal of mail from the box means with said signal means being operated upon the opening of either of the door means.

Another object of the invention is to provide new safety mail box means specifically constructed and adapted for use as a rural mail box.

Another object of the invention is to provide new safety mail box means which are specifically constructed and adapted for use with apartment buildings and the like.

A further object of the invention is to provide new mail box means mountable in the wall of a house, apartment or the like with one door thereof openable to the outside of the building to receive mail or the like and having signal means therewith placed in an operable position upon opening of the outside door with other door means openable from the inside of the building to remove mail, etc.

A further object of the invention is to provide new safety mail box constructions having a movably mounted mail receiving portion positionable in a container or the like with switch actuating means positioned to be operable upon insertion or removal of mail to operate signal means mounted in a house or the like.

A further object of the invention is to provide new safety mail box means having signal means therewith wherein the mail boxes are constructed to prevent tampering with the switch means without actuating the signal means.

Various other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view, partially cut away, illustrating a preferred specific embodiment of the safety mail box of the invention and showing upper and lower door means in an open position.

FIG. 2 is a partial cross section view of the mail box of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a partially schematic view illustrating the electrical connections of the mail box of FIGS. 1 and 2 and showing the signal means and housing therefor.

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of another preferred specific embodiment of the invention which is constructed and adapted for use in apartment buildings and the like.

FIG. 5 is a longitudinal cross section view through the mail box of FIG. 4 and showing the mail box mounted in the wall of a building.

FIG. 6 is a transverse cross section view through the mail box of FIGS. 4 and 5 showing a plurality of the mail boxes mounted in the wall of a building.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary cross section view showing a preferred mounting for the lock means for the mail box of FIGS. 4-6.

FIG. 8 is a partially schematic view illustrating the preferred electrical connection of the switch means and signal means for the mail box of FIGS. 47.

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of another preferred specific embodiment of the invention wherein the mail box is particularly constructed and adapted for use on rural routes.

FIG. 10 is a longitudinal cross section view through the mail box of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a view schematically illustrating the electrical connection between the switch means and the alarm means of the mail box of FIGS. 9 and 10.

FIG. 12 is a plan view of a signal housing and signaling means mounted thereon usable with the various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 13 is an elevation view of another preferred specific embodiment of the safety mail box of the invention shown mounted in a brick wall.

FIG. 14 is a cross section view through the mail box and wall shown in FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 is a schematic view showing the preferred electrical connection between the switch means and. the signal means of the mail box of FIGS. 13 and 14.

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary view, partially broken away, from the rear of the box of FIGS. 13-15.

The following is a discussion and description of preferred specific embodiments of the new safety mail box of the invent-ion, such being made with reference to the drawings whereon the same reference numerals are used to indicate the same or similar parts and/or structure. It is to be understood that such discussion and description is not to unduly limit the scope of the invention.

Referring now to the drawings in detail and to FIGS. 1-3 in particular where a preferred specific embodiment of the invention is .shown generally at 20 and includes an elongated hollow box body 22 having an elongated fiat and generally rectangular back plate 24 which is mountable on an outer wall of a house or the like by the use of common screws 26 or other suitable means. The box body 22 includes two elongated fiat side plates 28 and 30 which are the mirror image of each other and are each fixedly connected in the rear edge portion to opposite ones of the side edge portions of the back plate 24 and project from the back plate 24 in planes which are substantially parallel to each other and substantially perpendicular to the plane of the back plate. If desired, the side plates 28 and 3!} can be integrally formed with the back plate 24. Preferably, the rear end portion of the upper end of both of the side plates 28 and 30 are substantially perpendicular to the plane of the back plate 24 and the intermediate and forward portions 36 and 38 of the upper end of both of the side plates 28 and 30, respectively, are desirably inclined downwardly from the rear end portions 32 and 34 thereof. The inclined portions 36 and 38 of the side plates 28 and 30 terminate at the side edges of the plates opposite from the back plate 24.

An elongated and generally rectangular front plate 44) is provided and has the side edge portions thereof fixedly connected to the front side edge portions of the side plates 28 and 30 and desirably the front plate extends from the lowermost ends of the inclined portions 36 and 38 of the side plates downwardly to the lowermost edges of the side plates. The front plate 40 is preferably positioned in a plane substantially parallel to the plane of the back plate 24 and substantially perpendicular to the planes of the side plates 28 and 30. The front plate'40 is desirably provided With a latch receiving recess 42 positioned in the upper end portion of the outer face of the plate 40 to receive a latch member as described hereinafter. Also, a window-or the like 44 can be provided on an outer face of the front plate 40 and desirably has glass or other transparent means therein to prevent tampering with mail, etc. in the interior of the box through the window. Also, suitable indicia 46 can be provided on the outer surface of the .front plate 40 identifying the mail box and such is particularly desirable for use with a safety or alarm mail box since this alone may be sufficient to deter would-be thieves from tampering with the mail box and attempting to obtain mail or the like from the interior thereof.

A bottom plate 50 is provided and is preferably movably connected to the lower portion of the back plate 24 by a piano hinge or the like 52. Plate 50 is of size and shape to close the bottom of the box body 22 and prevent mail or the like inside the box from being intentionally or inadvertently removed through the lower portion of the box body when plate 50 is in the closed position. Preferably, a flexible catch member 53 is provided and is fixedly connected in one edge port-ion to the forward portion of the bot-tom plate 50 and positioned to frictionally engage the outer surface of the lower edge portion of the front plate 40 to thereby hold the bottom plate in the closed position.

Two elongated, thin shields 54 and 56 are provided and are rigidly secure-d in a lower edge portion to opposite side edge portions of the bottom plate 50 at the rear end portion of the plate and are preferably positioned inwardly a sufliciently distance from the outermost edges of the bottom plate to be received in the hollow of the box body 22 adjacent the side plates 28 and 30 when the bottom plate is in the closed position. Shields 54 and 56 are desirably relatively rigid and inflexible so that they cannot be easily bent or broken by one attempting to disengage the alarm system described hereinafter.

Two bars 60 and 62 are preferably provided and are connected in one end portion to the lower edge of the back plate 24 and if desired can be integrally formed with the back plate. The bars 60 and 62 are of like size and extend downwardly from the lower edge of the back plate 24 in the plane of the back plate. The lower end portions of the bars each have one end portion of one of the curved holder members 64 and 66 secured thereto. The holder members 64 and 66 are desirably generally arcuate in shape as illustrated in FIG. 1 and project outw-ardly and upwardly from the lower end portions of the bars 60 and 62 in spaced relation to each other and in spaced relation to the lower plate 50 and the lower end of the front plate 40. The holder members 64 and 66 from a newspaper and magazine holding rack. If desired the outermost end portions of the holder members 64 and 66 can be provided with cylindrical abutments or stops 63 and 70 which limit inadvertent outward movement of magazines, papers or the like held by the holder members. The holder members 64 and 66 are shaped and positioned to be out of the interfering way of the bottom plate 50 during opening and closing movement of the bottom plate about the hinge 52.

A cover 72 is movably mounted on the box body 22 and is preferably connected in the rear edge portion to the upper edge portion of the back plate 24 by a continuous piano hinge 74. The cover 72 is desirably of size and shape to extend entirely across and enclose the opening at the top of the box body vfrom back plate 24 to front plate 40 and from one side plate 28 to the other side plate 30. Preferably the cover 72 is shaped so that the front portion 76 and the rear portion 7-8 are disposed in spaced and generally parallel planes with the intermediate portion 80 being inclined relative to the planes of the front and rear portions of the cover. In use the rear portion '78 engages and is positioned over the rearmost portions 32 and 34 of the upper edge portions of the side plates 28 and 30 and the inclined intermediate portion 89 of the cover 72 is positioned along the inclined portions 36 and 38 of the side plates with the front portion 76 of the cover projecting outwardly from the lowermost edge of the inclined portions of the side plates and the uppermost edge of the front plate 40. The front portion 76 of the cover 72 preferably has a latch member 82 connected thereto and projecting from the lower surface thereof and in the center portion of the cover with the latch member 82 being positioned and shaped to engage and be received in the recess 42 in the upper edge portion of the front plate 40 to thereby hold the cover in a closed position.

Two additional elongated, thin and relatively rigid shields 84 nad 86 are provided and preferably fixedly secured to opposite side edge portions of the inner surface of the cover 72 and preferably extend along the rear portion '78 of the cover and into the inclined intermediate portion 80 of the cover. The shields are positioned to be received within the box body 22 when the cover 72 is in the closed position with the shields 84 and 86 desirably being adjacent the inner surfaces of the side plates 28 and 39.

A switch housing is shown generally at 90 and preferably includes two side plates 92 and 94 and a front plate 96 which are preferably closed or irnperforate and the housing 90 is desirably shaped to provide switch receiving recesses 98 and 100 at the upper and lower end portions, respectively, of the housing. Desirably the switch receiving recess 98 has a hole or opening 102 53 through the upper end thereof while the switch receiving recess 1% has a hole or opening 104 in the lower end thereof with the holes 182 and 194 being provided to accommodate switch operators or the like. The switch housing 90 is preferably positioned within the box body 22 and has the rear edge portion of. sides 92 and 94 secured to the inner surface of the back plate 24 in any suitable manner, such as by welding. Thus, the switch housing 11) together with the back plate 24 pro vides a closed space to accommodate switches and electrical conductors. As will be seen from FIG. 2 the ends of the switch housing are positioned adjacent the bottom plate 50 and the cover 72 when the bottom plate and cover are in the closed position. A hole 16-6 is provided in the back plate 24 and positioned to be in fluid communication with the space defined by the switch housing 96 and the back plate.

Two common electrical switches 110 and 112 are provided and each have spring operated switch operators as shown at 114 and 116, respectively. The switch 110 is mounted in the switch receiving recess portion 98 of the switch housing 90 with the switch operator 114 thereof projecting through the hole or opening 102 in the upper end of the housing 90 and the switch operator 114 is positioned to be engaged and moved to a retracted position by a portion of the cover 72 when the cover is moved to the closed position. As illustrated in FIG. 3 the switch 111) has two sets of contacts therein provided by the fixed contacts 118 and 128 and the movable contact 122 which is selectively engageable with the fixed contacts 118 and 120. With the switch operator 114 in the retracted position as illustrated in FIG. 3 the movable contact 122 is in engagement with the fixed contact 118 and when the switch operator 114 is extended the movable contact 122 moves into engagement with the fixed contact 12%). Switch 112 is provided with one set of contacts therein including the fixed contact 123 and the movable contact 124 with the contacts being apart to open the switch when the switch operator 116 is retracted as shown in FIG. 3 and with the contacts being in engagement when the switch operator is extended as a result of opening the bottom plate 50.

A signal housing 131) is preferably provided and is mountable at a suitable location in the house or the like on which the box body 22 is secured. The housing 136 mounts a bell 132 and a lightbulb socket 134 which is desirably provided with a common lightbulb 136. A conduit 138, FIG. 2 is connected in one end portion to the outer surface of the back plate 24 and surrounds the hole or opening 106 in the back plate to be in communication with the space defined by the back plate and the switch housing 99 through the hole. The other end portion of the conduit 138 is connected to the housing 130 in any suitable manner. FIG. 12 illustrates a preferred arrangement for mounting of the signal means on housing 130.

Electrical conductors are positioned in the conduit 138 and connect the contacts in the switches with the lightbulb socket and bells to form electric circuits to operate the signal means in response to opening and closing movement of the cover 72 and bottom plate 50. A source of electric power is diagrammatically indicated at 140 in FIG. 3 and is connected to a common transformer 142 in the house or the like to step the current down to the desired rating. Conductor 144 is connected to the transformer 142 and to conductors 146 and 148 with the conductor 146 leading to fixed contact 123 in switch 112 and with conductor 148 leading to the movable contact 122 in switch 110. Fixed contact 118 in switch 110 is connected by conductor 150 to lightbulb socket 134 through manually operated switch 152 which is normally closed. Conductor 154 provides a ground or return wire to the transformer 142. Thus, a first electric circuit is provided by the conductors 144, 148, 150 and 154 through the contacts 122 and 118 in switch 110 and through the 6 switch 152 in the housing 130. Thus, when switch operator 114 is in the closed or retracted position as illustrated in FIG. 3 an electric circuit is completed to the lightbulb 136 when the switch 152 is closed.

Two additional bells 156 and 158 of any suitable and common construction can be provided and are preferably mounted at the front and rear portions of the house or the like on which the mail box 20 is connected and the bells 156 and 158 are electrically connected in parallel with the bell 132 by conductors 160, 162, 164 and 166. A second electric circuit is provided to operate the bells 132, 156 and 158 and this circuit is provided by current from transformer 142 passing through conductors 144 and 148 to the movable contact 122 which is moved into contact with the fixed contact 120 in switch when the switch operator 114 is extended as a result of opening the cover 72. Contact is connected by a conductor 168 to a conductor 170 which is in turn connected to conductor 172 which connects the bell 132 in the circuit and also connects bells 156 and 158 in the circuit through a manually operated switch 174 which is desirably mounted in the housing and is moved to the closed position when it is desired to place bells 156 and' 158 in the circuit. The circuit to the bells is completed by conductor 176 from hell 132 connected to the conductor 166 from hell 158 and joined to the conductor 154 leading to the transformer 142. Thus, a second circuit to the bells is provided and is closed upon closing of the switch 110 to contact 122 and 120 and by closing of the manually operated switch 174.

Switch 112 is connected in the second electric circuit to the bells by the conductor 178 which is connected to conductor and to the movable contact 124 in switch 112 so that when the switch operator 116 of switch 112 is extended by moving the bottom plate 50 to an open position the switch 112 is closed to provide electric current through conductors 144, 146, 178, 170 and 172 to the bell 132 and .to the other bells as explained hereinbefore. Thus, switches 110 and 112 are in parallel in the second circuit so that movement of either the bottom plate 50 or the cover 72 provides electric current to the bells for operation thereof and thereby provide an audible warning signal to the occupant of the house indicating that mail or the like is being inserted into or removed from the mail box. The use of the electric ligh bulb circuit is desirable in that it provides an indication to the household owner that the electric circuits are in operable condition. In other words, should conduit 138 and the conductors therein be cut to eliminate the operation of the bells the lightbulb would also go out and it would be apparent to the occupant of the house that the circuits were not in operable condition. Also, when the bells in the house ring the occupant of the house can, by observing the lightbulb in the housing 130, determine whether the cover 72 or bottom plate 50 is opened, the lightbulb and bell both being on only when bottom plate 50 is open. When the cover 72 is open the lightbulb 136 will be out of the circuit or turned off due to the position of switch 110.

Referring now to FIGS. 4-8, another preferred specific embodiment of the safety mail box of the invention is shown generally at 200 and preferably includes an elongated container shown generally at 202 which has an elongated, fiat and generally rectangular back plate 204 which is preferably mountable on a wood frame member 206 in an apartment house, etc. by common wood screws or the like 208.

The container further includes two elongated fiat side plates 210 and 212 which are of the like size and shape and are the mirror image relation to each other and are fixedly connected in the rear edge portion to opposite side edge portions of the back plate 204. The side plates 210 and 212 project from the back plate 204 in planes substantially parallel to each other and substantially perpendicular to the plane of the back plate. A bottom plate 214 is provided with the container and desirably rests on suitable frame means 216 in the recess in the apartment house or the like. The bottom plate 214 is fixedly connected to the lower edge portions of the back plate 204 and both of the side plates 210 and 212 to thereby close the bottom of the container. A top plate 218 is provided and is secured in the edge portions thereof to the upper edge portions of the back plate 204 and both of the side plates 210 and 212 and preferably the top plate 218 has a hole or opening 220 therein of size to accommodate a switch operator as described hereinafter.

An open and generally rectangular shaped frame 222 is provided and includes upper and lower portions 224 and 226, respectively, and side portions 228 and 230, the frame 222 being rigidly secured in the inner edge portions to the outer or front edge portions of the top plate 218, the bottom plate 214 and the two side plates 210 and 212 and the frame 222 projects outwardly therefrom and is engageable with adjacent portions of the outside wall 232 of the building in which the mail box is mounted.

A generally channel shaped mail receiving member is illustrated generally at 234 in the drawings and desirably includes a fiat front Wall 236 which is shaped and of size to fit within and in close fitting relation to the inner peripheral surface of the frame 222. A floor 238 is provided and is preferably rigidly connected to the lower edge of the front wall 236 and extends rearwardly therefrom in a plane substantially perpendicular to the front wall and is of size to overly and substantially cover the bottom plate 214 when the mail receiving member is positioned within the container. A rear wall 240 is connected to and projects upwardly from the rear edge portion of the floor 238 and is desirably located in a plane substantially parallel to the plane of the front wall and substantially perpendicular to the plane of the bottom wall 238. The mail receiving member 234 is desirably connected to the container 203 by pivotally mounting the mail receiving member 234 on the container at the intersection of the front wall 236 of the bottom wall 238 as illustrated by the pivot 242 in FIG. 5. Preferably, an upper portion 244 of the rear wall 240 is displaced forwardly from the plane of the lower portion of the rear wall to define switch actuating means operable to actuate switch means in the manner described hereinafter.

The front wall 236 can be provided with a window 246 which is preferably covered with glass or other suitable transparent means to view the interior of the box and determine whether mail or the like is in the mail box 200. In this embodiment, as in the previously described embodiment, the box can be provided with suitable indicia as shown at 248 indicating that the box is a safety type mail box to thereby deter would-be thieves.

The front wall 236 is desirably provided with an elongated and relatively narrow slot 250 which extends transversely across the front wall adjacent hte upper edge portion thereof to provide an opening for the receipt and passage of mail or the like into the mail receiving member 234.

Lock means are desirably provided to hold the front wall 236 in the closed position. Preferably, the lock means includes a key operated lock member 252 which is positioned with the front end portion thereof projecting through 'a hole or opening 254 in the front wall 236 and with the ,member 252 being secured in place by welding or other suitable means on the inner surface of the front wall. The lock member 252 preferably has a lock operator member 256 operatively connected thereto and projecting from the inner end thereof. The lock operator 256 is positionable in a slot or the like 258 in the side wall 210 of the container to'hold the mail receiving member in the closed position.

Two electrical switches 260 and 262 are provided and are of a common construction having switch operators 264 and 266, respectively projecting therefrom. The

switch operators 264 and 266 are preferably spring biased and are movable from a retracted to an extended position to operate the switches. Switch 260 is preferably provided with fixed electrical contacts 268 and 270 and a movable electric contact 272 to thereby provide two sets of electrical contacts with the movable contact being engageable with the fixed contact 270 when the switch operator 264 is in an extended position as shown in FIG. 8 and with the movable contact 272 being in contact with the fixed contact 268 when the switch operator 264 is in a retracted position. Likewise, switch 262 is provided with fixed electrical contacts 274 and 276 and a movable contact 278 with the movable contact 278 being in engagement with the fixed contact 276 when the switch operator 266 is in a retracted position and engageable with the fixed contact 274 when the switch operator 266 is in an extended position. FIG. 8 illustrates the movable contacts in the positions assumed when the mail box portions are in the positions illustrated in FIG. 5. Switch 260 is preferably mounted on the outer surface of the top plate 218 with the switch operator 264 thereof positioned in and extending through the opening 220 in the top plate 218. Switch operator 266 of switch 262 is movable by the switch actuating portion 244 of the rear wall 240 of the mail receiving member 234 upon pivotal movement of the mail receiving member about the pivot 242.

Means are provided to engage and move the switch operator 264 of switch 260. In the preferred embodiment illustrated in the drawings a switch actuating member 280 is provided which has a relatively straight and flat intermediate portion 282 which is pivotally connected in the edges to the side plates 210 and 212 by a pivot 284. One end portion 286 of the switch operating member 280 is at an angle relative to the intermediate portion thereof and is positioned adjacent the outermost end of the switch operator 264 and movable into engagement with the switch operator 264 to retract same. The other end portion 288 of the switch actuating member 280 is also at an angle relative to the intermediate portion thereof and is preferably relatively long in comparison to the end protion 286 so that the member 280 assumes the position shown in the solid lines in FIG. 5 when the mail box is mounted in a vertical plane. The switch operating member 280 is positioned inside the container 202 with the end portion 288 being adjacent the slot 250 in the front wall 236 of the mail receiving member. The switch actuating member 280 is mounted so that the outermost edge of the end portion 288 thereof is normally adjacent the lower edge of the slot as best illustrated in FIG. 5 in the solid lines so that when a piece of mail or the like as indicated at 290 is inserted through the slot 250 the switch actuating member 280 is moved from the position shown in the solid lines to the position shown in the dashed lines to cause the end portion 286 of the switch actuating member to engage the switch operator 264 and retract same to move the fixed contact 272 into engagement with the fixed contact 268. As will be observed from FIG. 5, mail cannot be inserted into or removed from the mail box through slot 250 without moving the end portion 288 of the switch actuating member to the position shown in the dashed lines and causing operation of the switch 260.

A signal housing 292 is provided and is substantially the same or similar in construction as that illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 12 for the previously described embodiment. Housing 292 mounts a bell 294 and a lightbulb socket 296 having a common lightbulb 298 therein. A conduit 300 is connected in the end portions to the top plate 218 of the container 202 and to the signal housing 292 to receive electrical conductors forming electric circuits including the switches 260 and 262 and the lightbulb socket 296 and bell 294.

A source of electric power 302 is connected to a household transformer 304 and a conductor 306 is connected to the transformer 304 and to the movable contact 272 in switch 260. A conductor 308 is connected to the movable contact 278 in switch 262 and to the conductor 306 to thereby connect the movable contacts in both switches in parallel. Fixed contact 270 of switch 260 is connected by a conductor 310 to lightbulb socket 296 through manually operated switch 312 which is normally in the closed position and a conductor 314 connects the fixed contact 276 of switch 262 to the conductor 310. Conductor 316 is connected to the lightbulb socket 296 and to the ground or return conductor 318 leading to the transformer 304 to thereby complete a first electric circuit connecting the switches 260 and 262 in parallel to the lightbulb socket 296 to that current is supplied to the lightbulb socket when the switch operator 264 of switch 260 is in an extended position and when the switch operator 266 of switch 262 is in a retracted position as illustrated in FIG. 8.

Two additional bells 320 and 322 are preferably provided and are mountable at the front or rear of the house or apartment having one mail box 200 and the bells 320 and 322 are connected by conductors 324 and 326 to the end of conductor 318 leading to the transformer 304 and are connected by conductors 328 and 330 to conductor 332 having a switch 334 therein, the switch 334 being manually operated to place bells 320 and 322 into or out of the circuit as desired by the home owner. Conductors 336 and 337 are connected to bell 294 and to the conductors 332 and 338, respectively, thereby connecting the bells 294, 320 and 322 in parallel. Switch 334 is in conductor 332 between conductor 336 and the bells 320 and 322 so that when switch 334 is in open bell 294 is still operated by switches 260 and 262.

Fixed contact 268 of switch 260 is connected by a conductor 338 to conductor 332 and the fixed contact 274 in switch 262 is connected by conductor 340 to the con ductor 332 so that when the switch operator 264 of switch 260 is retracted and/or switch operator 266 of switch 262 is extended electric current is provided to the bells through transformer 304, conductors 306, 308, 338, 340 and 332.

\Vith the mail box 200 constructed and mounted as described hereinbefore the bell 294 and bells 320 and 322 are operated upon inserting mail or the like 290 into the box through slot 250 due to the movement of the switch actuating member 280 which engages switch operator 264 of switch 260 to retract same and close the circuit to the bells through conductor 338. Should anyone attempt to remove mail through the slot 250 it will be necessary to move the switch actuating member to obtain access to the mail and thereby actuate the bells in the manner described.

When the mail box is opened to remove mail by unlocking the lock 252 and pivoting the mail receiving member 234 about the pivot 242 to gain access to the interior thereof the switch operator 266 of switch 262 will be released from engagement with the portion 244 of the rear wall 240 of the mail receiving member to permit the switch operator 266 to move to an extended position thereby closing movable contact 278 to the fixed contact 274 and providing electric current through conductors 340 and 332 to the bells to again provide an audible signal. Should anyone attempt to disengage the signal means by cutting the wires in the conduit 300 then the lightbulb 298 will go off indicating to the home or apartment occupant that there is trouble in the circuits and indicating that someone may be attempting to obtain access to the mail box without activating the bell signals.

Another preferred specific embodiment of the safety mail box of the invention is shown generally at 400 in FIGS. 9-12 and this embodiment of the invention is particularly usable on rural routes or the like. The mail box 400 is mounted on a hollow pipe 401 which has the lower end portion thereof mountable in the ground or the like. Mail box 400 includes an elongated box body shown generally at 402 which includes an elongated, fiat bottom plate 404 which is preferably rectangular in shape and has a center portion of the outer surface of the bottom plate secured to the upper end of the pipe 401. A hole 406 is provided in the bottom plate 404 and opens into the upper end portion of the pipe 401. An electrical conduit 408 is desirably provided and one end portion of the conduit 406 is conected to the bottom of plate 464 and surrounds the hole or opening 406 in the bottom plate 404.

A flat back plate 410 is provided and is connected in the lower edge portion to the rear edge portion of the bottom plate 404 and projects upwardly therefrom in a plane substantially perpendicular to the plate of the bottom plate. The back plate 410 is preferably arcuate along the upper edge portions thereof as shown at 412 in FIG. 9 with the arcuate portion preferably being substantially semi-circular in shape and merging into straight side portions as shown at 414 in FIG. 9.

An elongated cover member is shown generally at 416 and includes an arcuate upper portion 418 which is preferably substantially semi-cylindrical in shape and has a radius substantially the same as the arcuate portion 412 of the back plate 410. The arcuate portion 418 of the cover member also preferably merges into substantially parallel planes and which have the lower edges thereof rigidly connected to opposite side edges of the bottom plate 404 in any suitable manner, such as by welding. The rearrnost edge of the cover member 416 is preferably rigidly connected to the outer edges of the side and arcuate portions of the back plate 410 and the cover member, back plate and bottom plate define a substantially hollow box body for the receipt and holding of mail and the like.

If desired, the usual mail indicating flag means 424 can be pivotally connected to one side of the cover member 418 and movable from a substantially horizontal position as shown in FIG. 9 to a substantially vertical position to indicate to the home owner that mail has been inserted into the mail box.

A catch member 426 is rigidly secured in one end portion to the forward portion of the arcuate portion 418 of the cover member 416 and the intermediate portion 428 and the forwardmost portion 430 of the catch member 426 are preferably positioned in overlying and spaced relation to the forward edge of the cover member and generally in a plane parallel to the end portion of the catch member which is secured to the cover member.

The mail box 400 includes a door 432 which can be provided with a window 434 and suitable indicia or markings 436 indicating the box is a safety type mail box. The door 432 has straight side portions 438 and 440 which smoothly merge into an arcuate and preferably generally semi-circular upper portion 446. Door 432 has an integral flange 448 which extends entirely around the side portions 438, 440 and the arcuate portion 446 and projects rearwardly from the front face of the door. The door is movably mounted on the box 400 in any suitable manner, such as by pivots at the lower edge portions of the flange portions as illustrated by the pivot 450 in FIG. 9. Pivot 450 passes through the flange 448 and through the lower edge portion of the forwardmost portion of the cover member 416. When the door 432 is in the closed position as indicated in FIGS. 9 and 10 the flange projecting rearwardly from the arcuate portion 446 of the door member is positioned between the forwardmost edge portion of the cover 416 and the center portion 428 of the catch member 426.

A generally U-sh-aped catch member 452 is secured to the center portion of the arcuate portion 446 of the door 432 adjacent the upper edge portion thereof by having one side or leg of the channel-shaped catch member 452 rigidly connected to the door by welding or other suitable means and the catch member 452 is positioned so that the center portion thereof friction-ally engages the intermediate portion 428 of the catch member 426 and cooperates therewith to hold the door 432 in the closed position.

An elongated switch housing 460 is provided and is positioned within the box body 402 and is desirably connected to the bottom plate 404 in any suitable manner, such as by screws or the like 462. Desirably the rear end portion of the switch housing 460 is connected to the bottom plate 404 and the intermediate and forward portions thereof are in close fitting and spaced relation to the intermediate and forward portions of the bottom plate as illustrated in FIG. to form a space to receive switch means and conductors as described hereinafter. Preferably the intermediate portion of the switch housing 460 is positioned over the hole 406 in the bottom plate 404.

A switch 464 is provided and desirably is of the type having a spring operated switch operator 466 projecting therefrom and the switch 464 is preferably positioned between the forward end portion of the housing 460 and the forward portion of the bottom plate 404 with the switch operator 466 projecting outwardly toward the door 432 and engageable with the lower portion of the door when the door is in the closed position. \Vith the door in the closed position the switch operator is in a retracted position and when the door is opened the switch operator is extended by operation of the spring means therein. Preferably, the switch 464 has two fixed contacts 468 and 470 therein and :a movable contact 472 which is movable from a position in contact with the fixed contact 468 when the door is in a closed position and the switch operator retracted to a position in contact with the fixed contact 47 0 when the door is open and the switch operator 466 is extended. Thus, two sets of electrical contacts are provided which are connectable in separate electrical circuits to perform the desired functions.

A signal housing 474 is provided and is mountable in a house or the like in spaced relation to the mail box 400 and the other end portion of conduit 408 can be connected to the switch housing 474. Preferably the conduit 408 is buried between the pipe 401 and the house containing the switch housing 474 so that it will be diflicult to locate and sever the conduit and the wires contained therein. The housing 474 mounts a bell 476 and a lightbulb socket 478 having a common lightbulb 480 therein.

. Electrical conductors pass through the conduit 408 and connect the lightbulb socket 478 and bell 476 to a source of electric power with the switch 464 being in the circuit to control operation of the signal means.

A source of electric power is shown diagrammatically at 482 in FIG. 11 and is connected to a transformer or the like 484 with the transformer being connected by a conductor 486 to the movable contact 472 in the switch 464. Another conductor 488 is connected to the fixed contact 468 and to the lightbulb socket 478 through manually controlled switch 490. Lightbulb socket 478 is also connected by conductors 492, 494 and 496 to the transformer 484 to complete a first electric circuit and this circuit will be closed when manually operated switch 490 is in the closed position and the switch operator 466 is in a retracted position to provide electric contact between the movable contact 472 and the fixed contact 468.

Two additional bells 500 and 502 are preferably provided and are mountable at the front or rear of the house or the like or in other suitable positions to provide an audible signal upon opening of the door 432. The bells 500 and 502 are desirably connected in parallel to the bell 476 by a conductor 504 connecting bell 476 to the conductor 492 and by conductor 492 terminating at bell 502 and by conductors 506 and 508 connecting bells 502 and 500. Conductor 496 also connects bell 500 to the transformer 484. A switch 510 is provided in conductor 506 to provide manual control of operation of the bells 500 and 502. The conductor 506 is also connected to the fixed contact 470 in switch 464 so that when the switch operator 466 is in the extended position as a result of opening the door 432 the movable contact 472 is in contact with the fixed contact 470 to provide electric current from transformer 474 through switch 464 and manually operated switch 510 to the bells 476, 500 and 502. This second electric circuit to the bells provides an audible warning signal to the occupant of the house or the like which is operable every time the door 432 is opened or closed for the insertion or removal of mail and provides audible warning signal means. The first circuit to the light-bulb socket and lightbulb is closed when the door is in the closed position only and provides a signal indicating that the conductors in pipe or conduit 408 have not been totally severed by a thief or someone attempting to disconnect the safety apparatus.

The flange 448 on the cover 432 is quite effective for this type of mail box in that it prevents anyone from tampering with or preventing operation of the switch 464 by inserting a tool or the like between the door and the cover member 416 which might be possible in the absence of the flange. By the time the door is opened a sufficient distance to permit insertion of a tool or the like to hold the switch operator 466 in the closed position the switch operator will have been moved outwardly by the spring action of the switch to cause contact between the movable contact 472 and the fixed contact 470 to operate the audible alarm signal.

Referring now to FIGS. 13-16, another preferred specific embodiment of the mail box of the invention is shown generally at 600 and this embodiment of the invention is particularly constructed and adapted for mounting in a wall of a house or the like as shown at 602 with the box 600 being openable from both the exterior and interior of the house. Wall 602 can, of course, be of brick construction as shown in the drawings or of wood or any other suitable construction. The box 600 includes an elongated hollow box body shown generally at 604 which preferably includes two elongated fiat side plates 606 and 608 which are positioned in substantially parallel planes with the plates being constructed and mounted in mirror image relation to each other. A top plate 610 is secured in the side edges to the upper edge portions to the side plates 606 and 608 and is preferably positioned in a plane substantially perpendicular to the planes of the side plates. The top plate 610 desirably has a hole or opening 612 therein which is of size to receive and pass electrical conductors or the like as described hereinafter. A conduit 614 is preferably provided and positioned in the wall 602 and desirably has one end portion thereof connected to the outer surface of the top plate 610 and is positioned to surround the hole 612 in the top plate.

.The forward lower portion of the side plates 606 and 608 are preferably cut away or shaped as best illustrated in FIG. 14 to provide a lower edge on the side plate which includes a front portion 616 and a rear portion 618 which are desirably substantially parallel to the plane of the top plate 610 and an inclined portion 620 which is between the front portion 616 and the rear portion 618 thereof and desirably terminates in the upper edge portion at the rear end of the front portion 616 and the bottom edge of the side plates. Also, the lower edge of the side plates includes a portion 622 which is preferably substantially perpendicular to the plane of the top plate 610 and extends from the rear or lower end of the inclined intermediate portion 620 to the front end of the rear end portion 618. A bottom plate 624 is positioned between and secured to the lower edges of the side plates 606 and 608 and the bottom plate 624 is desirably shaped and of size to conform to the shape of the lower edge of the side plates as described hereinbefore. The shape and positioning of the lower edge of the side plates 606 and 608 and the shape of the bottom plate 624 are quite desirable and will aid in preventing removal of the mail box 600 through the front opening in the wall as best shown at the left in FIG. 14.

A first open rectangular frame is shown generally at 630 and is connected to the rear edges of the side plates 606 and 608, the top plate 610 and the bottom plate 624. The frame 630 includes an upper portion 632, a lower portion 634 and two side portions 636 and 638 which project outwardly from the rear edges of the side plates, top plate and bottom plate and are preferably positioned in a plane generally perpendicular to the plane of the top plate. Frame 630 also includes a portion along the top shown at 640 which projects downwardly toward bottom plate 624 to close off an upper portion of the box body. A latch member .642 projects re arwardly from the lower edge of frame portion 640.

An inside or rear door 644 is provided and is movably connected on the rear of the box body 604 in any suitable manner, such as by the use of pivots as shown at 646 to connect the door 644 to the lower rear portion of the side plates 6% and 608. Door 644 is preferably of size and shape to substantially close the opening defined by the frame 636 at the rear of the box body. A latch member 648 is preferably provided and rigidly secured to the upper edge portion of the door 644 and positioned to frictionally engage and cooperate with the latch member 642 on frame 636 to thereby aid in holding the door 644 in the closed position.

A second open rectangular frame is preferably provided and is shown generally at 650 and is connected to the front edge portions of the side plates 606 and 693, the top plate 616 and the bottom plate 624 and surrounds the opening formed by these plates. Preferably the frame 650 includes upper and lower portions 652 and 654, respectively, and two side portions 656 and 653 and the portions 652, 654, 656 and 65S extend outwardly from the side plates 6G6 and 663 and top and bottom plates 616 and 624. Preferably the frame 650 includes a fiange portion 666 which extends inwardly from the portion 652 and inwardly from the top plate 61-8 as shown in FIG. 14. Flange portion 666 is preferably integrally formed with the portion 652 of the frame 656.

A front or second door 662 is preferably provided and is connected to the front portion of the box body 664 in any suitable manner, such as by the use of the pivots as shown at 664 in FIG. 14, the pivot being connected to the door 662 and to the side plates 666 and 668. Door 662 is pere'ferably of size and shape to substantially close the opening in frame 650 at the front part of the box body and can include suitable indicia as shown at 666 identifying the type of mail box.

A latch member 668 is preferably provided and rigidly secured in one edge to the lower portion 654 of the frame 650 and projects outwardly therefrom as best illustrated in FIG. 14. A cooperating latch member 670 is desirably provided on the lower portion of the door 662 and projects outwardly and downward-1y therefrom as best illustrated in FIG. 14 and preferably is positioned to frictionally engage and cooperate with the latch member 668 to hold the door 662 in the closed position.

A switch 672 is provided and preferably is of the type having a spring actuated switch operator 664 projecting therefrom. Switch 674 is desirably connected to the forward portion of the inner surface of the top plate 610 adjacent the door 662 and with the switch operator 674 projecting downwardly toward the bottom plate 624. Switch 672 has two fixed electrical contacts 676 and 678 therein and a movable contact 686 which is movable with the switch operator 674- from a retracted position in contact with the fixed contact 676 as shown in FIG. 15 to an extended position in contact with the fixed contacts 678 to thereby provide two sets of electrical contacts in the switch.

A signal housing 632 is provided and is mountable in a house or the like having the mail box 600 mounted thereon. Housing 682 desirably mounts a bell 684 and a lightbulb socket 686 having a lightbulb 683 therein. The other end portion of the pipe or conduit 614 is desirably connected to the housing 682 and electrical conductors forming circuits connecting the switch 672 and signals in housing 682 are preferably passed through the conduit of pipe 614.

A first electric circuit is provided by electrical conductors and connects the lightbul-b socket 686 to a source of electric power shown diagrammatically at 690. Preferably this is accomplished by a conductor 692 connecting the source of electric power 69%) to a household transformer 694 which in turn is connected by a conductor 696 to the movable contact 680 in switch 672. Another conductor 663 connects the fixed contact 676 to the lightbulb socket 636 through a manually operated switch 760 on the housing 632. The electric circuit to the socket 686 is completed by a ground or return wire 702 connecting the lightouib socket 686 to the transformer 694. Thus, with the switch 674 in a retracted position and with movable contact 680 in contact with the fixed contact 676 an electrical circuit is completed to the lightbulb socket so that the lightbulb 6-88 therein will be on when the switch operator 674 is in the retracted position as shown in FIG. 15. Two additional bells 764 and 706 are preferably provided and are mountable at the front and rear of the house or the like containing the safety mail box means of the invention and the bells 764 and 706 are preferably electrically connected in parallel to the bell 684, such as by the conductors 768, 716' and 712 together with the manually operated switch 714 in the signal housing 682.

Electric current is provided from the transformer 694 to the bells when the switch operator 674 is extended to move the movable contact 680' into engagement with the fixed electrical contact 678 with current then passing through conductor 696, through the movable contact 686 to the fixed contact 678 and then through conductor 716 to the conductors 712, 708 and 716 to the bells. The circuit to the bells is completed by the return or ground conductors 718, 726, 722 and 762.

A switch actuating member 736 is provided and is preferably rigidly secured in one end portion to an upper portion of the inner surface of the door 662 with the other end portion of the switch actuating member being positioned to engage and cause retraction of the switch operator 674 of switch 672 when door 662 is moved to the closed position. Likewise, switch actuating member 730 will be moved with the door 662 when the door is moved to an open position to relase the switch operator 674 and permit extension thereof to close contact 680 to contact 676 in the switch.

When the door 66-2 of mail box 6% is in the closed position electric current is provided from the transformer 694 through movable and fixed contacts 680 and 676 in the switch 672 to the lightbulb 688 so that same will be on and indicate the conductors have not been cut or otherwise disengaged. At this time the second circuit to the bells 684, 704 and 706 will be open and electric current cannot pass through switch 672 to the bells. When door 662 is open to insert or remove mail through the front end of the mail box body 604 then switch actuating member 736 is released from engagement with the switch operator 674 to permit the switch operator to be extended and move movable contact 680 into engagement with the fixed contact 673 in the switch 672 to thereby stop the flow of electric current to the lightbulb 688 and close the circuit to the bells to provide an audible warning signal to the occupant of the house indicating that mail or the like is being inserted into or removed from the box. the box 664 by opening the rear or back door 644 without leaving the house.

The mail box 600cm conveniently be installed in the wall 602 during construction of a house, etc. and, of course, the box 606 can also be installed in houses subsequent to construction thereof.

In each of the various embodiments of the mail box of the invention described hereinbefore the alarm system operates every time mail is inserted into or removed from the mail box through the desired opening means therefor and the visual signal means is in operation when the door means is closed so that the home owner can readily as- The occupant can then remove mail from certain that the alarm system is in operable condition and that all of the conductors leading from the mail box to the signal means have not been cut.

While the invention has been described in connection with preferred specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that this description is intended to illustrate and not to limit the scope of the invention, which is defined by the claims.

We claim:

1. A safety mail box comprising, in combination, an elongated hollow box body having an elongated flat back plate mountable on a wall or the like of a house, two elongated flat side plates each fixedly connected in one edge portion to side edge portions of said back plate and projecting therefrom, the rear end portion of the upper end of each of said side plates being perpendicular to the plane of said back plate and inclined downwardly in the intermediate portion and front end portion thereof to the side edges opposite from said back plate, and an elongated front plate having the side edge portions thereof connected to said last-named side edges of said side plates, said front plate extending from the ends of said inclined portions of said side plates to the lowermost edges of said side plates, said front plate having a latch receiv ing recess in the upper end portion of the outer face thereof, a bottom plate hingedly connected in one edge to the lower portion of said back plate with said bottom plate being of size to close the bottom of said box body, a flexible catch connected to the opposite edge of said bottom plate and positioned to engage the lower portion of said front plate to hold said bottom plate in the closed position, two elongated shields secured to opposite ones of the side edge portions of said bottom plate at the rear end portions thereof and positioned to be received in the hollow of said box body adjacent said side plates when said bottom plate is closed, two bars each connected in one end portion to the lower edge of said back plate and extending downwardly therefrom, two curved holder members, said bars having one end of said holder members secured to the lower end portions of said bars with said holder members projecting outwardly from said lower end portions of said bars to each other to form a paper and magzaine holder, said holder members being shaped and positioned to be out of the interfering way of said bottom plate during opening and the closing movement of said bottom plate, and a cover for said box-body hingedly-connected in the rear edge portion to said upper edge of said back plate and extending across said box body from one of said side plates to the other of said side plates, the front and rear portions of said cover being disposed in spaced and generally parallel planes with the intermediate portion of said cover being inclined and of size and positioned to engage and rest on said inclined portion of said upper edges of said side plates, said front edge portion of said cover having a latch projecting from the lower surface thereof positionable in said latch recess of said front plate when said cover is in the closed position, two other elongated shields secured to opposite side edge portions of the inner surface of said cover extending along said rear portion and the adjacent portion of said inclined portion of said cover and positioned to be received Within said box body when said cover is closed, a switch housing closed at the sides, front and the upper and lower ends, said switch housing being positioned within said box body and having said :sides at the rear edge thereof secured to said back plate :and defining with said rear plate a space to accommodate .switches and electric conductors, said upper and lower ends of said switch housing each having a hole therethrough, and terminating adjacent said bottom plate and said cover when closed, said rear plate having a hole therethrough in communication with said space in said switch housing, two electrical switches having spring operated switch operators projecting therefrom, one of said switches being mounted in the upper end portion (of said switch housing with said switch operator thereof extendable through said hole in said upper end of said housing and positioned to be engageable by said cover when closed to retract said switch operator and close said switch to one set of contacts with said switch being closed to another set of contacts therein when said cover is open and said switch op erator is extended, the other of said switches being mounted in the lower end portion of said housing with said switch operator thereof projecting through said hole in said lower end of said switch housing and with said switch operator being positioned to be engageable by said bottom plate when closed to retract said operator and open a set of contacts in said switch with said operator being extended when said bottom plate is opened to close said set of contacts in said switch, said elongated shields on said covers when retracted into said box being positioned between the sides thereof and said switch housing, and a signal housing mountable in a house or the like and mounting a bell and a light bulb socket with a light bulb therein, electrical conductors forming a first electric circuit connecting said light bulb socket to a source of electric power through said one set of contacts in said one of said switches, two other bells mountable at the front and rear of said house and electrically connected in parallel to said bell in said signal housing, other electrical conductors forming a second electric circuit connecting said last-named bells and said bell in said signal housing to a source of electric power with said other set of contacts in said one of said switches and said set'of contacts in said other of said switches being in parallel in said second circuit so that extension of either of said switch operators provides electric current to said bells, said safety mail box being constructed and adapted so that when said cover and said bottom plate are in the closed positions said second circuit to said bells is open and said first circuit to said light socket is closed, electric current being provided to said bells upon opening of said cover or said bottom plate.

2. A safety mail box comprising, in combination, an elongated hollow box body having a back plate mountable on a house or the like, two flat side plates fixedly connected to said back plate and projecting therefrom with the intermeditae and forward portions of the upper edge of each of said side plates being inclined down wardly from the rear end portion thereof, and a .front plate connected in the side edges thereof to said side plates, a bottom plate movably connected in one edge to the lower edge portion of said back plate and of size to close the bottom of said box body, fastening means on said bottom plate to hold same in a closed position, shield means connected to said edge portions of said bottom plate and positioned thereon to be received within the hollow of said box body adjacent said side plates when said bottom plate is closed, a cover for said box body movably connected in a rear edge portion to the upper edge portion of said back plate with said cover being shaped and of size to close the upper portion of said box body and engage said upper portion of said side plates, cooperating latch means on said cover and said front plate engageable when said cover is in the closed position, additional shield means connected to the inner surface of said cover along side edge portions thereof and positioned to be received within said box body when said cover is in the closed position, a switch housing connected to said rear plate to provide a space to accommodate electrical switches and conductors, said housing having a hole in the upper and lower end portions thereof, two electrical switches mounted in said housing each having a spring operated switch operator projecting therefrom with one of said switches being adjacent said upper end portion of said housing with said switch operator thereof extendable through said hole in said housing and positioned to be engageable by a portion of said cover when closed to retract said switch operator and operate said one of said switches, the other of said switches being positioned in said lower end portion of said housing with said switch operator thereof projecting from said hole in said lower portion of said switch housing and with said switch operator thereof being engageable by a portion of said bottom plate when closed to retract said switch operator, said shield means when retracted into said box being between side portions thereof and said switch housing, a signal housing mountable in a house or the like in spaced relation to said box body and containing a bell and a light bulb socket with a light bulb therein, conduit means connecting said signal housing and said box body, electrical conductors passing through said conduit and forming a first electric circuit connecting said light bulb socket to a source of electric power through said one of said switches, other electrical conductors forming a separate electrical circuit connecting said bell to a source of electric power with both of said switches being in parallel in said second circuit so that extension of either of said switch operators provides electric current to said bell, said mail box being constructed and adapted so that visual and audible signals are provided to the home owner to indicate opening of either said cover or said bottom plate for insertion or removal of mail from said mail box.

3. Safety box means for the receipt of mail or the like comprising, in combination, a hollow box body having a back, a front, and two sides, said box having an opening in an upper portion thereof and a cover rnovably connected thereto of size to close said opening, an opening in a lower portion of said box and a cover movably connected thereto of size to close said lower opening, latch means on each of said upper and lower covers and another portion of said box engageable when same are-in closed position, housing means within said box constructed and adapted to accommodate electrical switch means, electrical switch means mounted in said housing and having operating means projecting therefrom to a position contactable with said covers, shields positioned on each of said upper and lower covers of said box and constructed to be received within the hollow of said box when same are in closed position between outer portions of said box and said housing means, alarm signal means mountable in a house or the like in remote relation to said box, said signal means having two electrically operated signaling means, electrical conductors connecting said signal means and said switch means within said housing in said box, said safety box means for the receipt of mail constructed and adapted so that dual signals are provided to the home owner to separately indicate opening of either of said covers over said openings in the upper or lower portion of said box.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 713,662 11/1902 Miesse.

1,245,259 11/ 1917 Milleville.

1,758,546 5/1930 Wartman 340280 1,976,117 10/1934 Cassel 340-281 2,154,459 4/ 1939 Komorowski 340281 2,463,957 3/ 1949 Faulkenbury et al. 340281 2,465,935 3/1949 Scalia 340- 281 2,759,057 8/ 1956 Whilden et a1.

2,921,734 1/1960 Whilden et al 340281 X 2,945,219 7/1960 Dunn 340 -281 3,114,141 12/1963 Gerace 340-281 NEIL C. READ, Primary Examiner.

R. M. GOLDMAN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3556394 *Dec 18, 1968Jan 19, 1971Caldes Constantine AAudible house alarm for rural mail boxes
US3935994 *Sep 25, 1973Feb 3, 1976Arthur DarvishianSecurity mailbox
US4154393 *Feb 2, 1976May 15, 1979Arthur DarvishianSecurity mailbox
US4178588 *Jul 5, 1978Dec 11, 1979James QuerenBurglar alarm system
US4733419 *Jun 25, 1987Mar 29, 1988Suzanne NeeToilet seat-up indicator
US4965551 *Dec 5, 1988Oct 23, 1990Richard BoxBurglar alarm system for multi-unit mailboxes
US5917411 *Jun 16, 1998Jun 29, 1999Baggarly; James H.Electronic mailbox with keypad alarm system
US7671276Nov 28, 2007Mar 2, 2010Baker David LArmed junction box enclosure
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/545.2, 340/569, 340/545.9, 232/34, 340/545.6
International ClassificationA47G29/122, A47G29/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47G2029/1226, A47G29/1225, A47G29/1212
European ClassificationA47G29/12R2E, A47G29/122S