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Publication numberUS336052 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 9, 1886
Filing dateSep 8, 1885
Publication numberUS 336052 A, US 336052A, US-A-336052, US336052 A, US336052A
InventorsLetter Box
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 336052 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

(No Model.) 4 SheetsSheet 1.



No. 336,052. Patented Feb. 9, 1886. 1 E71. 15;. a4.

w/rn/L s s; g uvmvroy r %@/l@ W W ATTORNEY 5 N. PETERS. Phmo-Lilhographnr. Wishingtull, n. c.

(No Model.) 4 Sheets-Sheet 2.


Ml VE/V TOR E 45. Patented Feb. 9, 1886.

ATTORNEY I Nv PEI'ERS, PhnhwLilhogrzphan Wnihinglon. D. C.

(No Model.) 4 Sheets-Sheet 3.



6,052. N0 33 v E Eatented Feb 9 332? I NHIIIMIIIIF Illlfll I" ATTORNEY N, FEIERS, Photo-Limo m her, Wmhingion. D, C.

4 Sheets-Sheet 4.

(No Model.)


. Patented Feb. 9, 1886.

III 71111114 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII/IIIIIIIIII/Ifl'lfi ATTORNEY N. PETERS. PhotmLilhogl-aphur, Washingian. uc.




SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 336,052, dated February 9, 1886.

Application filed September 8, 1885. Serial No. 176,544. (No model.)

To all whom it may concern:

one of the pouch-bolts thrown back to permit Be it known that I, GIUSEPPE JovINE, a its door D to fall. Fig. 9 is a plan of the citizen of Italy, residing at Naples, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Letter-Boxes and Collecting-Pouches, of which the followingis a specification, reference being bad to the accompanying drawings.

This invention relates to that class of letterboxes and collecting-pouches which are adapt ed to cooperate one with the other, and which are inoperative unless conjoint-1y used.

The object of the invention is to provide 7 boxes and pouches for the reception of mailmatter deposited therein by the general public, and to be collected therefrom by authorized persons and transported to a distributing and delivery office. Heretofore the carrier or collector has been provided with akey adapted to fit the letter-box, and with a pouch into which the mail collected is placed and transported to the delivery-office. It has been attempted also heretofore to provide a collect' ing box and pouch which operate-conjointly to deliver the contents of one into the other, but necessitating the use of a key or similar device in the possession of the carrier.

One of the principal objects of my invention is to permit of the collection of mail from letter-boxes into pouches and its delivery to the distributingoffice without the necessity or possibility of carriers having access to the mail matter; and with this object in view my invention consists in certain features of construction, hereinafter described, and particularly pointed out in the claims.

Referring to the drawings, Figurel is a front elevation of a letter-box and collecting-pouch embodying my invention and in cooperative position. Fig. 2 is a vertical transverse section of Fig. 1, looking through the letter-box toward the front wall. Fig. 3 is a vertical transverse section on the same line as Fig. 2, but on an enlarged scale, with parts removed to show the interior mechanism. Fig. 4 is a transverse section of the cooperating parts of the box and pouch, looking at the end thereof. Fig. 5 is a plan of the pouch and pouch-open ing frame, portions being broken away to show interior mechanism. Fig. 6 is a section, on the line X of Fig. 1, of the indicator-door, the same being open; and Fig. 7 is a perspective of an indicator. Fig. 8 is a detail in plan of locking mechanisms of the indicator-door and of the box-door.

Like letters refer tolike parts in all the figures of the drawings.

The upper portion of the letter-box A may be of an ordinary construction; so, also, may the lower portion of the collecting-pouch B. \Vithin the lower part of the box A is a shield, A, or funnel-shaped frame, conforming in outline to that of the box, the object and purpose of which is to cover the mechanism at the lower end of the box, and to deflect or direct mailmatter in the box toward, upon, and through thedoor A of the box.

The pouch B may be of any suitable materialsuch as, for instance, cloth, leather, or wire-cloth-which is stitched or otherwise so cured to a rod or binding of metal, B, (see Fig. 4,) and by means of clamps B or other suitable devices may be interiorly secured to a frame at the mouth of the pouch, so as not to be accessible from the outside of the pouch.

At the bottom of the box A, or constituting the lower edge thereof, .is a frame, A which, at its lower edge, is provided with a cleat or inwardlyprojecting flange, A, at each end of the box, and extending at least from front to rear across said end. The term end in this description is employed to designate the narrower sides of the box, being at the right and left of Fig. 3 and the center of Fig. 4. The frame A may be expanded outwardly from the box A to a much greater degree than illustrated in Fig. 3, so that the entire locking and unlocking mechanism may be arranged therein and entirely outside of the vertical planes of the inner surface of said box A, in which case also the door A and other co-operative parts would be enlarged to more than the transverse area of the box proper. In such cases the hood A (see Fig.2) would be unnecessary to prevent the lodging of letters upon the mechanism at the lower edge of the box. This flange has an L-shaped groove to receive a simple inward flange, 13*, formed at the top of the frame B of the pouch. Another inwardly-projecting flange, 15*", runs completely around the frame B just below the flange B, and the cover B of the pouch, when closed, lies in the same horizontal plane as the flange B while the cover A of the box is pivoted, as at A in each end of the box, so that when closed the bottom of the box is a perfectly plain surface, with the exception of the grooves at each end, into which the frame B with its flange B, passes.

If desired to cover the L-groove in the bottom of the box, a drop-door provided with any ordinary lock and key may be hinged, preferably, to the back wall of the box, so as to drop out of the way of the pouch-frame when it is desired to apply the latter to the box.

The door B of the pouch is pivoted in the ends 13 of the frame thereof, and the rod or' bar B, forming the pivot of the door, is provided at each projecting end with handles B,

which handles serve the purpose of closing the door of the pouch while the same is connected with the box, and without access to the interior of the pouch. The act of closing the door of the pouch also closes the door of the box, as they are in contact with each other when open. (See Fig. 4c.)

The door A of the box is provided at its front or free edge with two projections, A", which,when the door is closed, pass through slots A, formed in the flange A of the box. Upon this flange, and upon each end of the box, is mounted a reciprocating bolt, 0, slotted, as at O, for the passage of the projection A of the door when said bolts are drawn by suitable devices toward the end of the box to bring the slot 0 into line with the slots A, the construction being such that otherwise the bolt 0 is forced inwardly away from the end of the box, so as to present a solid portion thereof overthe slot A and so as to pass beneath the projection A, and thus retain the door A in a closed and locked condition.

The mechanism at one end of the box is a duplicate of that at the other, so that a description of one will be sufficient.

Upon the top of the bolt 0 is a projection, 0 which, as the bolt is moved toward the end of the box to unlock the door, comes in con tact with adownwardly-projecting arm, D, of a reciprocating bolt, D, mounted in housings D D and having, a coiled spring, D, which acts to throw the bolt D forward to perform the function of looking, so that when the bolt 0 is unlocked so also is the boltD.

The bolt 0 is operated by a lever, E, (see Fig. 4,) pivoted at E on the flange A and extending from the front wall of the box, where it is pivotally connected, as at O to the bolt 0. A spring, E is arranged between the wall of the box and the end of the lever,whioh is pivotally connected with the bolt 0, and has a constant tendency to force the bolt 0 into'a locked position. The free end of the lever is by the spring E when not otherwise influenced,

held against the inner surface of the end wall of the box.

The bolt D passesthrough aseetor, F, which projects rearwardly from an indicator-door, F, (see Figs. 1, 3, and 6,) of which there are two one near each end of the frame A. The

carrying with it the bolt.

sector projects into a slot, F", and is prevented from completely passing through the same by a stop or screw, F.

The indicator-door F is in the form of a door having an opening in its face to disclose tablets or indicator cards or checks F (see Fig. 7,) preferably formed of brass or other metal. These indicator-checks are slid into a receptacle, F formed on the inner surface of the indicator-door F, so that when said door is closed with the check therein the time of the next succeeding collection or of the last preceding collection may be indicated. Furthermore, it will be seen that when the box is locked the indicator-doors are also secure from tampering or from any change of the checks therein, and thatit is impossible to remove a check without unlocking the box. As

this cannot be done without the insertion of the pouch-frame, it will be seen that unauthorized persons are prevented from pilfering or changing theindicator-checks, and that by a retention at the delivery-office by the proper officer of the checks to be used by a carrier each trip on his route, said carrier being provided with a single check on his trip to indicate the time of the succeeding trip collections from all boxes are assured. because said carrier must deliver to said officer the checks last placed in the indicator-doors of the box. This completes the principal ele ments employed in the box itselfiexcept that the lever E has at its rear end a downward projection, E, (see Figs. 3 and '4'.) which extends into the L-groove into which the flange B of the frame enters, so that as said flange B passes against an inclined face of said projection it forces the free end of the lever E away from the end Wall of the box, and thus causes its bolt-operating end to approach said Wall, In this manner the introduction of the frame of the pouch serves to unlock the indicatordoors and the door proper of the box.

To secure the main object in View it is es sential thatnot only should the box be unlocked and locked by the insertion and removal, re spectively, of the pouch-frame, but that also the pouch-door should necessarily be closed before it can be withdrawn from the box and locked when so withdrawn, and these operations are required to be performed without the use of a key either for the frame of the pouch or for the box.

The means for preventing the withdrawal of the pouch from the box until the door of the box is closed is very simple, and consists of a vertically-sliding bolt, G, mounted on the inner surface of the pouch-frame and having pivoted connection, as at G, with the springpressed lever G, the spring G3 thereof being arranged between the free end of the lever and. the frame, so as to depress said free end and normally throw the bolt upwardly into the flange A of the box, whereby the two frames will be secured together against separation unless some means are provided for elevating the free end of the lever G". This means is found in a projection, B, on the door B of the pouch, which projection comes in contact with the free end of the lever G as the door B is raised by means of the handles B Said handles may serve also for entering and withdrawing the pouoh-frame into the boxframe as well as for carrying the pouch, or a separate handle'may be provided, as shown in Fig. 1, for such purposes.

H, Figs. 1, 3, and 5, is a simple springlatch projecting through the back and inwardly beneath the door B, and normally held by a spring, H, under the door, even when all of its fastening devices, hereinafter described, are removed from contact therewith, so that by forcing the exposed end ofthe latch inwardly it rotates upon its pivot H, and releases the door, so that it may fall by gravity or by the contact of the door A of the box therewith, or by the weight of mailanatter upon the latter.

It now remains to describe the locking devices, which are brought into action as the pouch frame is withdrawn from the box-frame, and which are thrown out of operation when the pouch-frame is introduced into the bore frame.

At each end of the frame B of the pouch, and inside thereof, is a lever, I, which is pro vided with an upwardly-projecting inclined lug, I, (see Fig. 4,) which passes through a slot formed in-thefiange B of the pouch-frame. Said lever is secured to a spring, 1 attached to the frame in such manner that the projec tion I is normally held upward; but being slanted from front to rear said lever will be depressed at its free end as the pouch-frame isintroduced into the box-frame. The front end of the lever I is formed in book shape, as at 1 the object of which is that the hook shall, as soon as the projection l escapes from the box-frame, be thrown upwardly into the path of the latch or bolt J, which serves to lock the pouclrcover in a closed position. The latch J is pivoted at J, (see Fig. 5,) and is, by means of a spring, J'-,-that is, when not otherwise effectedforced outwardly into the path of the cover B of the pouch B. The position assumed by the hook I is between the free end of the lever J and the front wall of the pouch-frame, as at I, Fig. 5.

As thus far described it will be understood that the introduction of the frame of the pouch into the frame of the box withdraws the hooks 1 from in rear of the bolts J, and that the solid portion of the flange A, which forms the lower outlines of the L-shaped slots in said flange, comes in contact with the projection I of the lever I to produce the withdrawal of the hooks l", as stated. Therefore, the bolts J being beneath the free edge of the door B of the pouch, one at each end of the box, it is only necessary after the pouch is entered into the frame of the box to trip the spring-catch H by pressing on its projecting end, when it also will be thrown out of the path of the free edge of the door, and both doors will there fore be allowed to drop within the pouch and to deliver the matter in the box into the pouch.

In order to withdraw the pouch from the box it is absolutely necessary that the doors both of the box and the pouch be closed by means of the handles B otherwise the bolt G projects through both frames, and they cannot be separated, because the springs G, through the me dium of the lever G force the bolt G upwardly, and will continue to do so until the free ends of said lever and spring are raised by the free edge of the door B of the pouch.

Taking the box A with its door closed and inserting the inwardlyprojecting flanges at the ends of the pouch-frame into the groove formed in the box to receive the same, the fol lowing operation takes place at each end of the box, in order to open each of the locking mechanisms arranged in said ends. The pouchframe having the tlange B, being moved from the front of the box to the rear, first comes in contact with the inclined projection I of the lever I, depressing its lug I" downward .y

away from in front of the bolt J, which re-- tains the pouch-cover B in a closed position, and said bolts J still remain in position to hold said door closed, notwithstanding the removal of the hook I, as stated, because the front ends of the flange A of the box must be reached by said bolts, which are at the front corners of the pouch-frame before they will be removed from beneath the door B, as hereinafter stated. The pouch frame in advancing has its flange B brought against the downwardly-projecting lug E of the lever E, when the flange acts as a wedge to force said lug and the free end of the lever away from the end of the box. This operation takes place at each end of the box, so that each of the levers E are oscillated on their pivots E so as to move the bolts 0 toward the end until the openings 0 therein register with the openings A in the flange A", when the projecting lugs A on the door A of the box may pass downward through said openings. The next and final operation occurring by introducing the frame of the pouch into the groove of the box is to bring the back corners of the frame, which are constructed, substantially, like the frame K, Fig. 5that is, havingaprojecting lug, K, which is forced against the free end of the bolt J, and forces said bolt from the position indicated in Fig. 8 by dotted lines (which position said bolt occupies when securing the door in a closed condition) to the position indicated in said figure by solid lines, when the door B (which rests when closed upon the lateral projections shown on said bolt J) may fall. Both doors are now in condition to fall to an open position by simply removing the swinging latch H (see Figs. 2, 3, and 5) from beneath them. By this operation of opening I secure the necessity of a complete insertion of the frame before any of the retaining-bolts are removed completely from lOO the free edges of the doors, so that they cannot be opened by a partial insertion of the frame, which would provide access to the contents of the box of the pouch.

The remaining provision to make the invention complete is a device other than the letter-box by which to open the pouch when the carrier arrives at the delivery-office, and to leave the mouth of the pouch unobstructed by any surrounding box,in order that the mailmatter may be removed from the pouch for distribution and transportation. Such a device is provided, and consists of a simple frame, K, (see Fig. 5,) the ends of which are provided with hoods K, which constitute with the ends of the frame an L-shaped groove like that shown in Fig. 3, into which the flange B of the frame is inserted. A slot is formed at the ends of the front bar of the frame K, so as to form a projection, K which is adapted to enter into contact with the free edge J of each of the levers J at the front corners of the pouch-frame, and to force said latch, bolt, or lever J out of contact with the door B, the hooks I being depressed by the under surface of the end pieces of the frame. Frames K are provided at the delivery-office, and may be mounted so as to project from tables or benches, or from walls of the building, so that all that it is necessary for a carrier to do as he arrives at the delivery-office is to insert his pouch within the frame, when, by simply operating the spring-catch'H, the doors are opened and the mail is readily accessible. Heretofore in boxes of this character the pouch frame has been provided at its front corners with boxdoor lock-operating devices. By my construction and arrangement a partial withdrawal of the pouch-frame will not render the said doors more liable to be tampered with by dishonest persons having pouches in their keeping.

Having fully described my invention and its operation, what I claim isl. The combination, with a letter-box having independent locking mechanisms at each of its ends for the door thereof, independent levers pivoted centrally at and parallel with each endof the box, of a pouch-frame adapted to come into contact with the free end of the lever near the rear corners of the box, whereby-a complete insertion of the frame is required to open the door of the box and a slight withdrawal of the frame locks the doors of the box and pouch, substantially as specified.

2. A letter-box provided with indicatordoors having arms projecting into the box, and independent bolts normally held in a locked position by springs, and extending into connection with and removed from the locking position by a movement of the bolts which unlock the door of the box, substantially as specified.

end of which is projected into the path of the projection on the door, a spring-supported lever having a hook at its free end arranged to project into the path of the pouch-locking mechanism in its unlocking movement, and having an upward projection between said hook and the fixed end of the lever, in combination with a letter-box having a groove for the reception of the frame of the pouch and a mortise for receiving the vertical bolt on the pouch-frame, substantially as specified.

5. In a letter-box, the combination of the flange A, the lever E, pivoted thereon and having the depending lug- B, the spring E",

the bolt 0, slotted, as at O, and'having the projection, as at O", the bolt D, the arm, the segment F, the indicator-door F, and the door A, provided with the projections A, substantially as shown and described.

6. The combination, with the letter-box A, having the internal flange, A, provided with a vertical mortise, of the pouch B, having the vertical bolt G, the slotted lever G, and spring G and door B, provided with the projection B", substantially as shown and described.

,7. The combination,with the pouch B, having the independent locking-latches J, the yieldingly mounted levers I, having hook I located nominally in front of the latches, and having projection I, of the box A, having the flange A, adapted to receive the flange B of the pouch-frame B and having a pro jection, 1K on the flange A, adapted to abut againstsaid latches, substantially as shown and. described.

8. The combination, with the doors F, having the segments F, provided with the stopscrews F, the bolt D, having the arm D, spring D, the bolt'O, having the projection 0 the lever E, and the door A, having the projection A, substantially as shown and described.

In testimony whereof I affix my signature in presence of two witnesses.



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US7318548 *Mar 26, 2003Jan 15, 2008Lockheed Martin CorporationApparatus and method for isolating deposited items
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Cooperative ClassificationA47G29/1207