US 3429472 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Fb. 25, 1969 5, ROGERS, JR 3,429,472
TAMPER-PROOF BOX CONSTRUCTIONS Filed Oct. 10, 1966 lac/0m: Z Faye/x5, Jr.
ATTORNEY United States Patent 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The disclosure is of tamper-proof bo-x constructions wherein the sides, bottom, and top panels are of interlocked form, and wherein the top, or last, panel is interlocked into place forceably, such that it cannot be removed from the box to open the box without breaking it or some adjacent part of the box. The box, therefore,
may be assumed not to have been tampered with or its contents tampered with if it remains in unbroken condition.
This invention pertains to tamper-proof box constructions, and the like. The essential characteristics of boxes made according to the invention is that, once the box has been closed, it may not be tampered with or opened without destruction of at least a part of the box.
A principal object of the invention is to provide tamperproof boxes.
Another object of the invention is to provide tamperproof boxes which may be closed without any locking mechanism, and yet which may not be opened except by destroying or damaging at least a part of the box structure.
A further object of the invention is to provide such tamper-proof box constructions which are closed without use of any auxiliary closure, such as nails, screws, locks, or any other such means.
The boxes provided according to this invention are formed of interlocking pieces which, once assembled, cannot be taken apart, or opened, without at least some destruction to or breakage of at least some portion of the box. The boxes may be made of any material, including metals, plastics, wood, and other suitable materials. Boxes constructed according to the invention have four side wall web members, and bottom and top web members, together forming a usually six-sided box which may be of substantially any size and proportions. The top member may sometimes be omitted. A noteworthy characteristic of the boxes is that a final, or key, side wall member, once inserted into place to complete the box structure, cannot be removed without breakage of this part of the box or some adjacent other part of the box, so that the box, once closed, cannot be opened without evidence thereof being apparent. The remaining portions of the box are made up of interlocking component parts which cannot be disassembled once the key side part has been inserted into place.
Boxes made according to this invention will be useful in a number of diverse manners. The boxes may be used for transportation of objects under security or of delicate instruments, devices, and the like, tampering with which in transit is undesirable, it being desirable that any tampering be apparent, The invention may also be used in the making of toys or puzzles, the toy or puzzle once being put together not being readily taken apart. As such, a toy could be provided wherein a child puts together the elements making up a coin bank having a coil slot in one of its sides, which is not to be opened until such time as it is full or its opening otherwise desired, at which time the bank is broken to open it. Boxes made according to the invention will be invaluable for shipment of any type of equipment which is under security, since, once packed the goods may not be made accessible or tampered with until the container is broken in order to open it.
It is certain that many other uses of boxes made according to the invention will be apparent, Open type boxes may be provided according to the invention, which may not be disassembled without breakage of some part thereof.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, of which:
FIG. 1 is an upper perspective view of a box constructed according to the invention, the figure being partly in section in order that internal construction of the box may be viewed;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial cross-sectional view taken at line 2-2 of FIG. 1, showing the manner of insertion of the key sidewall part of the box;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged partial cross-sectional view taken at line 33 of FIG. 1; and,
FIG. 4 is an enlarged partial cross-sectional view indicating a modified structure of a box according to the invention.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, and first to FIGS. 1 3, a preferred form of box is shown in these drawings to exemplify the invention. The box has three side wall elements 10, 11, 12 which are shown to be of identical form. Each of these elements 10, 11, 12 is in the form of a rectangular metal plate or web which has at one side, spaced inwardly of its longitudinal edges the two parallel slots or grooves 14, 15. Each plate or Web 10-12 also has, spaced from each end thereof, lateral or transverse slots 17, 18 therethrough, each extending at least half way across the width of the element and which provide for interlocking engagements between the elements 10-12. In FIG. 3 of the drawings, there is shown the interlocked interconnection between elements 11, 12, the transverse slot 18 of element 12 and the transverse slot 18 of element 11 being mutually engaged as shown. -It will be noted that while element 11 is shown to be substantially identical with both of elements 10, 12, and may be identical therewith, element 11 is inverted so that its transverse slots 17, 18 are at its lower edge, while the transverse slots 17, 18 of elements 10, 12 are at their upper edges.
A plate or web 22 forms the bottom of the box. Three edges or sides of plate 22 are disposed within the groove 14 of plate 10, within the groove 15 of plate 11, and within the groove 14 of plate 12. Plate 22 when fully received within groove 15 of plate 11 extends at least partially across slots 17, 18 of elements 10, 12.
Plate or web 23 has three of its edges disposed within groove 15 of plate 10, within groove 14 of plate 11, and within groove 15 of plate 12. Its edge 24 is disposed along a line extending between the near, or inward, sides of the transverse slots 18 and 17 of members 10, 12. In other words, plate 22 partially overlaps slots 18 and 17 of plates 10, 12, while plate 23 flushly meets the sides of slots 18 and 17 of plates 10, 12 but does not overlap them.
It will be observed that the members 10, 11, 12, 22, and 23 form five of the sides of a six-sided box structure. The sixth side of such a structure is formed by plate or web 30. Plate 30 has a groove 31 therealong at one side thereof spaced from its lower edge. Plate 30 has extending from its lower edge transverse end slots 33, 34 which are receivable over the lower parts of plates 10, 12 below slots 18, 17, the parts of plate 30 above its transverse slots being receivable in the slots 18 and 17 of plates 10, 12. The longitudinal slot 31 receives the edge of plate 22 which extends partway across slots 18, 17 of plates 10 and 12, respectively.
Referring now especially to FIG. 2 of the drawings, it will be noted that the slots 18, 17 of both of plates 12 are shown to have angular lower ends. This angular configuration of the lower ends of these slots 18 is preferred but is not essential. Referring to FIG. 4 of the drawings, the slots 18 may alternatively be of rectangular end formation as therein shown. As shown in FIG. 2, the plate 30 is inserted into the upper ends of the slots 17, 18 of members 10, 12 in the angular disposition shown by the dashed line position 30a of plate 30. This introduction of plate 30 provides that the lower surface 32 of plate 30, when plate 30 is further introduced, will come into contact with the edge of plate 22 and enable groove 31 to be forced to a position to receive the edge of plate 22. Forcing of plate member 30 is necessary for this assembly of the box part. Plate 30 is initially introduced at an angle as shown by the dashed line position 30a thereof in FIG. 2 and is depressed downwardly until it reaches the position of the solid line configuration as shown in this drawing figure. Some resiliency of the plate 30 is required. Surprisingly, it has been found that the plate 30, once inserted into its fully inserted position with the edge of plate 22 received in slot 31, may not thereafter be removed without breakage of either some part of plate 30 or some part of one of the plates 10, 12. In other words, after plate 30 has been assembled to complete the box construction, the box may not be opened or taken apart without some physical destruction either of plate 30 or of one or both of plates 10, 12. Thus, the box when assembled forms a tamper-proof box enclosure for its contents, and any tampering with or attempts to open the box will result in the described destruction thereof, so that it may be assured that the contents will not have been tampered with if the box is received at its destination in undamaged condition.
The boxes alforded by this invention will be found to be invaluable in the shipment of materials when it is desired that the shipment be completed without any access to or tampering with the boxes and/or the materials contained therein. For example, should the box be used for shipment of a delicate instrument, the instrument may be packed within the box, usually with shock absorbent material, after elements 10, 11, 12, 22 and 23 have been assembled, and closed by insertion of the key element 30 to close and complete the box. Then, while the box and its contents are in transit, any tampering therewith will result in breakage of one or more parts 10, 12, 30 of the box and such tampering will be readily detected.
Referring now to FIG. 4 of the drawings, there is indicated therein an open box construction wherein the plate 23 forming the top of the box is omitted. In this case, the members 10a, 12a (not shown) will not have the grooves 15, and the member 11a (not shown) will not have a groove 14. Members 10a, 11a, 12a, correspond to members 10, 11, 12 of the FIGS. 1-3 embodiment. The top plate element 23 will be absent. The plate element 30b, insertion of which prevents future dismanteling of the box without breakage, will lock the structure together so that the box will be permanently assembled.
As has been stated, boxes according to the invention may be made using metals, plastics, and wood, or combinations thereof, as the materials for the box elements. In the case of boxes constructed of plastics, it is feasible that as a single integral structure. In other words, the interlocked connections of member 30 to the box would be the elements 10, 11, 12, 22, and 23 be formed or molded present, but the remainder of the box would be a single element. This form of box (not shown) would have the tamper-proof characteristics of the other boxes described.
The space tolerances between the box parts should be close in order to achieve the desired tamper-proof function, but some play at the connections does not destroy this function. The boxes may be made gas-tight and/ or liquid-tight by the placement of suitable gaskets (not shown) at its joints in any suitable manner as will be apparent to one skilled in the art.
1. Tamper-proof box structure, comprising a box formed of a bottom, a top, two opposite sides, an end, and a closure member, said bottom, top, sides and end being joined along their edges to form an enclosed space therewithin, said sides each having a slot therethrough of a width at least equal to the thickness of said closure extending at least halfway thereacross from the closure edge of said top toward the corresponding closure edge of said bottom, said closure edge of said top terminating at the inner sides of said slots, said closure having a slot therethrough of a width at least equal to the thicknesses of said sides adjacent each of its ends extending at least halfway thereacross from its lower edge, whereby said closure member may be inserted downwardly with the portions of said sides beyond said slots of said sides within said slots of said closure and with the portion of said closure above said closure slot within said slots of said sides, said closure having a groove therealong at its side toward said bottom along the position of said bottom, said bottom extending into said groove, said closure when inserted as described being sufficiently flexible to be flexed outwardly from its lower edge to pass the extended side of said bottom until same enters said groove and locks the closure in place.
2. The combination of claim 1, said joinders of the edges of said bottom, top, opposite sides and end comprising mutually releasably engaged slots vertically partially across said end and sides joining said sides to said end, and interior groove means around said sides and end releasably receiving edges of said top and bottom to join said top and bottom to said sides and end, whereby said bottom, top, end and sides may be readily assembled and disassembled.
3. The combination of claim 2, said slots across said sides and said slots across said closure terminating in flushly engaged angular end surfaces.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 653,514 7/1900 Kasschau. 1,468,786 9/1923 Knechtel. 1,500,559 7/1924 Hammond. 2,854,724 10/ 1958 Wuorio.
FOREIGN PATENTS 733,331 7/1955 Great Britain.
RAPHAEL H. SCHWARTZ, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 2l765; 22041