US 3401998 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept' 17, 1968 J. E. EVANS ETA-L 3,401,998
FILING CABINET SAFETY AND LOCKING DEVICE JNVENToRs JOHN E. EVANS a BY CALVIN w. FAHR ATTORNEYS Sept. 17, 1968 J. E. EVANS ETAI.l 3,401
FILING CABINET SAFETY AND LOCKING DEVICE .filed Les. v, 196e 3 sheets-Sheet ATTORNEYS Sheets-Sheet (5 Sept. 17, 1968 J. E. EVANS ETAL FILING CABINET SAFETY AND LOCKING DEVICE 3 33 I3 l/ //}l INVENTORS JOHN E. EVANS 8 Y CALVIN W.' FAHR MM .A
ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,401,998 FILING CABINET SAFETY AND LOCKING DEVICE `lohn E. Evans and Calvin W. Fahr, Altoona, Pa., assignors to Small Tube Products, Inc., Duncansville, Pa. Filed Dec. 7, 1966, Ser. No. 599,805 4 Claims. (Cl. 312 215) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A locking and safety device for lile cabinets which prevents iile cabinets from toppling over and injuring oiiice personnel lby .providing that only one drawer may be opened at a time, comprising an operating rod adapted to be vertically mounted in a le cabinet, fork levers mounted on the operating rod with each fork lever being associated with a file cabinet drawer, said fork levers including a forward leg and a rear leg, the operating rod being rotatable to move the fork levers into a lock position and into an unlocked position, and an actuator member adapted to be mounted on each drawer so as to extend outwardly therefrom in order to contact the forward leg of its associated fork lever and rotate the fork lever into locked position when the drawer is being opened, and -so as to contact the rear leg of its associated fork lever and to rotate the fork levers into unlocked position when the drawer is being closed. Also included is a reset and locking rod having a knob which is pulled outwardly to move the fork levers to lock position and is pushed inwardly to move the fork levers to unlocked position, a stop member for limiting the rotation of the fork levers, and the lock.
This invention relates to safety and locking devices, and more particularly concerns a safety and locking device for le cabinets which prevents le cabinets from toppling over and injuring otlice personnel.
When more than one drawer of a tile cabinet is in open position, the le cabinet may become unstable and may tip over and injure someone.
It is an object of this invention to provide a safety and locking device which prevents such injuries by preventing a tile cabinet from tilting.
It is another object to provide a safety and locking device which prevents more than one drawer of a file cabinet from being in open position at any one time.
It is another object, when one drawer is pulled to open position, to automatically provide that the remaining drawers are locked in closed position.
It is another object to automatically unlock the closed drawers upon closing the open drawer.
It is another object to provide a safety and locking device which may be positioned so as to lock all drawers in the le cabinet, and may be set to unlock all drawers.
Other objects and advantages of this invention, including its simplicity and economy, as well as the ease with which it may be adapted to existing equipment, will further become apparent hereinafter and in the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a view in front elevation of a le cabinet having mounted therein a safety and locking device constructed in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a view in section taken as indicated by the lines and arrows 2 2 which appear in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view in section taken as indicated by the lines and arrows 3 3 which appear in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a partial view in vertical section on an enlarged scale and shows the cabinet in locked condition with all drawers closed;
3,451,998 Patented Sept. 1 7, 1968 FIG. 5 is a view in section taken as indicated by the lines and arrows 5 5 which appear in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a View in section taken as indicated by the lines and arrows 6 6 which appear in FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a view in vertical section on an enlarged scale similar to FIG. 4 but shows the safety and locking device in unlocked position; and
FIG. 8 is a view in section taken as indicated by the lines and arrows 8 8 which appear in FIG. 7.
Although specific terms are used in the following description for clarity, these terms are intended to refer only to the structure shown in the drawings and are not intended to define or limit the scope of the invention.
Turning now to the specific embodiment of the invention selected for illustration in the drawings, there is shown a le cabinet 11 having side walls 13, a rear wall 15, top wall 17, bottom wall 19 and front wall 21 having holes therein which admit three drawers 23, 25, and 27.
Side walls 13 are reinforced by vertical support members 29, and the drawers are provided with roller mechamsms that ride in tracks 31 so that the drawers may be easily opened and closed.
The locking and safety device includes means for locking the drawers of cabinet 11 in closed position, and means for actuating the locking means in response to the opening of one drawer to lock the other drawers in closed position and in response to the closing -of the drawer to unlock the drawers. This actuating means operates automatically to lock and unlock the locking means in response to the opening and closing of the drawer.
The locking means includes an operating rod 33 which is adapted to be vertically mounted in a le cabinet such as cabinet 11. Rod 33 is rotatively mounted in bushings 35 which may be welded or Aotherwise secured to top wall 17 and bottom wall 19 ofthe cabinet.
Fork levers 37 to 39 are mounted on operating rod 33 and are connected together thereby. Fork lever 37 is associated with drawer 23, lever 38 is associated with `drawer 25, and lever 39 is associated with drawer 27. Operating rod 33 is rotatable to move the fork levers 37 to 39 into a lock position as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, and an unlock position as shown in FIG. 8. FIG. 3 shows the automatic lock position which the mechanism assumes when actuated in response to the opening 0f one of the drawers, and FIG. 5 shows the fully locked position which the mechanism assumes when the control mechanism is operated to lock all the drawers of the cabinet.
A guide and fork lever stop member 41 is welded to tracks 31 and includes a plate 4 3 having a hole therein which receives and guides operating rod 33, and a stop lug 45 mounted on the plate and extending upwardly therefrom. Lug 45 is in the path of rotation of forward leg 47 of the fork levers and limits its travel. Rear leg 49 of the fork levers may be rotated to position that locks the drawers against being opened as is hereinafter described.
The actuating means includes an actuating member 51 which is an angle made of metal and adapted to be mounted as by welding on the side of each -drawer so as to extend outwardly therefrom in order to contact and move its associated fork lever into locked position when the drawer is being `opened and to contact and. move the fork lever into unlocked position when the drawer is being closed.
Control means are provided for moving the locking means to a cabinet-locked position with all drawers closed so that the cabinet may be locked with a key. The control means also provides for releasing the locking means from the cabinet-locked condition.
The control means includes a reset and locking rod 53, and a pivot arm 55 which connects rod 53 to oper- .l :rampasY ating rod 33 of the locking means Rod 53 hasan outer end which extends out of the cabinet 11 and is capped with a knob 57.
A lock 59 is mounted inside front wall 27 of the cabinet just beneath reset and locking Vrod 53, and lock 59 includes a reciprocable catch member 61 having a recessed portion that is adapted to cradle rod S3 when lock 59 is turned to locked position by its key.
A locking-stop collar 63 is mounted on rod 53 and when the cabinet is locked the catch member 61 is raised so as to contact collar 63 if rod 53 is pushed inwardly, and thereby prevent unlocking of the locking means by preventing inward movement of rod 53.
In operation, when the cabinet is locked with all drawers closed, the mechanism 'assumes the position shown in FIGS. 4 to 6. Knob 57 has been pulled outwardly so that collar 63 is positioned outwardly of raised catch member 61, and rod 53 has moved pivot arm 55 to rotate operating rod 33 so that rear leg 49 of the fork levers is positioned in the path of actuator member 51, with forward leg 47 of the fork levers making contact with the stop lug 45 that limits the rotation of the fork levers and `also limits the outward movement of rod 53.
To release the locking mechanism, lock 59 is opened with a key to lower the catch 61 so that locking-stop collar 63 may be moved rearwardly. Knob 57 is pushed to the position shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 and the rearward motion of rod 53 moves pivot arm 55 to rotate operating rod 33 and the fork levers to the position shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. Now the automatic locking mechanism is in unlock position and is ready to be operated by the opening of one of the drawers. Rear leg 49 is outside the path of movement of actuator member 51, and forward leg 47 is directly in that path. Referring t-o FIG. 3, as top drawer 23 is opened, its actuator member 51 contacts the knee of forward leg 47 and pushes it out of the way, thereby rotating operating rod 33 and moving rear leg 49 of fork levers 37-39 into the locking position shown in FIG. 3 with rear leg 49 directly in the path of actuator members 51 of drawers 25 and 27.
As long as drawer 23 is in open position, drawers 25 and 27 are prevented from being opened by means of rear leg 49 which would contact and stop actuator members 51 if they were moved forward by pulling drawers 25 and 27.
The closing of top drawer 23 resets the automatic locking mechanism as actuator member 51 of drawer 23 during the closing strikes the knee of rear leg 49 to push 1t out of the return path of actuator member 51. This moves the knee of forward leg 47 into the path of actuator member S1 so that the opening of any drawer causes and actuator member 51 to contact the knee of forward leg 47 to move it out of the path of travel and thereby moves the rear leg 49 into the path of travel of the actuator members of the other drawers.
The inner end of rod 53 curves downwardly and is seated in a hole in one end of pivot arm 55. The pair of retaining washers 65 and a cotter pin 67 assist in connecting the two elements together.
The locking and safety device of the invention prevents filing cabinets from tilting over by prohibiting the opening of more than one drawer at a time and thereby prevents injury to oice personnel. It also makes it unnecessary to fasten cabinets to the floor or walls of an office.
The drawers of the cabinet may be opened in any sequence, except that only one `drawer may be opened at one time.
If it is desired to remove the drawers from .the filing cabinet, the operation is as follows. The first drawer is removed, and the opening of that drawer moves the locking mechanism to the position shown in FIG. 3. Then knob 57 is pushed inwardly to release the locking mechanism so that the fork levers assume the position shown in FIG. 8. Then the next drawer is removed, and the procedure is repeated. v
The locking and safety device of the invention'may be made of any suitable material such as steel, and may be attached to the file cabinet by bolting, spot welding, brazing, or any other suitable means.
It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken'as a presently preferred embodiment. Various changes may be made in the shape, size and arrangement of parts. For example, equivalent elements may be substituted for those illustrated and described herein, parts may be reversed, and certain features of the invention may be utilized independently of the use of other features, all without `departing from the.
spirit or scope of the invention as dened in the subjoined claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A locking and safety device for a iile cabinet having a plurality of drawers, comprising; an operating rod adapted to be vertically mounted in a le cabinet, a number of fork levers mounted on the operating rod with each fork lever being associated with a file cabinet drawer, said fork levers including two outwardly extending and drawer engaging members comprising a forward leg and a rear leg, said operating rod being rotatable to move the fork levers into a lock position and into an unlock position, and an actuator member adapted to be mounted on each drawer so as to extend outwardly therefrom in order to contact the forward leg of its associated fork lever and rotate the yfork levers into locked position when the drawer is being opened, and so as to contact the rear leg of its associated fork lever and rotate the Afork levers into unlocked position when the drawer is being closed.
2. The device of claim 1, including a reset and locking rod, and a pivot arm connecting the reset and operating rod to the operating rod, the reset and locking rod having a knob on its outer end which is adapted to extend out of the cabinet, whereby the knob is pulled outwardly to move the fork levers to lock position and lock all the drawers in closed position and is pushed inwardly to move the fork levers to unlock position so as to permit opening one of the drawers.
3. The device of claim 2, including a stop member position-ed in the path of rotation of the fork levers to limit their travel.
4. The device of claim 2, including a lock with a reciprocable catch member mounted adjacent said reset and locking rod, and a locking-stop collar mounted on the reset and locking rod and adapted to be contacted by said catch member when it is extended into lock position, thereby to prevent pushing the rod inwardly to move the looking means into unlock position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,013,444 1/1912 Robbins 312--215 2,276,197 3/1942 Houston et al. 312-218 X 2,842,419 7/1958 Howard S12-218 2,930,666 3/1960 Ibel 312--218 3,109,686 ll/l963 Watts et al. B12-215 CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner.