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Publication numberUS3514981 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 2, 1970
Filing dateMay 15, 1968
Priority dateMay 15, 1968
Publication numberUS 3514981 A, US 3514981A, US-A-3514981, US3514981 A, US3514981A
InventorsEsquibel Arthur E, Esquibel Arthur M
Original AssigneeEsquibel Arthur E, Esquibel Arthur M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lock box
US 3514981 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 2, 1970 A. M. ESQUIBEL ETA!- 3,

LOCK BOX Filed May 15, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ARTHUR M ESOUIBEL ARTHUR E. ESOUIBEL lfiNTORSZ E ATTORNEY June 2, 1970 M ESQUIBEL ETAL LOCK BOX 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 15, 1968 ARTHUR E. ESOUIBEL 2 F g ARTHUR M ESOUIBEL INV2TORS{ Z /ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,514,981 LOCK BOX Arthur M. Esquibel and Arthur E. Esquibel, both of 11504 Haines NE, Albuquerque, N. Mex. 87112 Filed May 15, 1968, Ser. No. 729,342 Int. Cl. E0511 37/16, 66/52 11.5. Cl. 70-298 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A look box having an upper and a lower portion with a plurality of slide bars slidably retained in the upper portion and a locking bar slidably retained in the lower portion, the upper and lower portion being removably secured together by the interlocking action of the slide bars and locking bar.

This invention relates to a lock box and in particular to a combination lock device for boxes, cases and the like.

Many combination locks exist in the prior art for a number of different locking purposes. Most of these devices are designed for specific applications such as door looks, or they are quite complicated and diflicult to manufacture and use. A definite need exists in the art for a device which may be incorporated into a box, case or the like, in order that it may be locked in a closed condition without the need for attaching a separate lock thereto. While in the past there have been certain devices in the art for locking boxes or the like, these have been too complicated to conveniently manufacture and too difiicult to use. Moreover, the devices either do not operate on a fixed combination or the combination once set for a particular box cannot be changed if desired.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a lock box with a built-in combination lock mechanism which requires the operation of a particular combination prior to the opening thereof.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a lock box with a combination lock mechanism incorporated therein which combination can be changed conveniently.

A further object of this invention is the provision of a lock box with a minimum of opportunity for unauthorized opening of the lock without first knowing the combination.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a lock box incorporating a combination lock mechanism therein which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture and easy to operate, but effective to prevent opening of the box without first setting the proper combination.

In general, the objects of our invention are accomplished by providing a box, case, or the like having separable upper and lower portions which are adapted to be fixedly secured together by our locking means. Our combination lock mechanism consists of a plurality of slide bars with slots located therein at predetermined positions. These slide bars are adapted to engage a locking bar which is inserted through the slots in the slide bars and into the box. The slide bars are retained in position by guides which we provide in the upper portion of the box. The locking bar is retained in position by brackets afiixed to the lower portion of the box so that the engagement of the locking bar with the slide bars as well as its engagement with the brackets prevent open ing of the box unless the slide bars are set in the proper combination to align the slots with the locking bar so that it can be entirely removed from the box. The slide bars themselves are marked so that they can be properly positioned to allow alignment of the slots. It is not Patented June 2, 1970 until each slide bar has been positioned at a predetermined mark that each slot will be aligned to allow the locking bar to slide through the slots and be removed so that the upper portion of the box can be detached from the lower portion. We further provide certain additional attaching means both to secure the slide bars in position and to prevent accidental opening of the box. Means are provided for interchanging the slide bars to vary the combination sequence.

Other objects and advantages of our invention will become apparent as the same is understood by reference to the drawings and the accompanying specification.

FIG. .1 is an isometric view of one particular lock box which incorporates our combination lock.

FIG. 2 is a further isometric view of the lock box shown in FIG. 1 with the box open to disclose the combination lock mechanism and its various parts.

FIG. 3 is a detailed view of a modified safety feature which may be incorporated into our lock box.

Referring now to the drawings wherein like numerals represent like parts, it will be seen that our lock box 10 includes an upper portion 11 and a lower portion 12. These two portions may be attached at one end in any suitable manner.

The combination locking mechanism included in lock box 10 comprises a plurality of slide bars 13, a locking bar 14, a locking bar guide 15, brackets 16 with first and second apertures 17 and 18 respectively, frame 19, aperture 21, cover 22, dowel 23, forward abutment member 32 and rear abutment member 33.

Locking bar guide 15 is fixedly secured to the lower portion 12 of lock box 10 by brackets 16 having first and secondapertures 17 and 18 respectively located therein for receiving and engaging locking bar 14. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 a frame 19 is provided in upper portion 11 of lock box 10 which frame surrounds aperture 21 which aperture corresponds to aperture 17 in bracket 16 when the box is closed so that locking bar 14 may be inserted through apertures 21 and 17 into locking bar guide 15 in a manner hereinafter to be more particularly described. A cover 22 may be inserted into frame 19 to cover aperture 21 when the box is closed and locked. Frame 19 may be completely enclosed to prevent feeling the combination.

A dowel 23 is adapted to be inserted into upper portion 11 of lock box 10 through dowel aperture 24 to engage slide bars 13 and retain them in a fixed position in a manner to be hereinafter more particularly described. Dowel 23 may be retained within upper portion 11 of box 10 by engagement of protrusion 25 located on the head of dowel 23 with bracket 26. A dowel guide 27 is provided inside of upper portion 11 of box 10 as shown in FIG. 2 and aligned with aperture 24 to thus receive one end of dowel 23 and support it after its insertion into upper portion 11 and through slide bars 13.

Each of slide bars 13 are provided with a first slot 29 and a second slot 30 spaced longitudinally one from the other. Each slot 29 is spaced on slide bar 13 at a predetermined location, which location is determined by the desired combination for the lock. The second slot 30 on each slide bar 13 is spaced an equal distance from the nearest end of the bar so that when each slide bar engages rear abutment member 33 second slots 30 are aligned. Removable stops 31 are afiixed to each slide bar 13 and adapted to engage forward abutment member 32 to stop the movement of each slide bar out of upper portion 11 of lock box 10 so that they cannot entirely be removed from lock box 10 unless stops 31 are first removed. Removal of stops 31 allows for interchanging of slide bars 13 so that the combination sequence of the box can be changed. Forward abutment member 32 is provided with guide slots 35 corresponding to each slide bar 13 so that each slide bar passes through a guide 35 and is supported and guided therein. Indicia 34 are affixed to each slide bar 13 so that the user of the device can determine what position each slide bar must be set at in order to align slots 29 to allow removal of locking bar 14. These indicia, may be numbers, letters, colors or of some other type depending upon the desire of the manufacturer.

A plurality of release slots 36 are formed in locking bar 14 to correspond with each of the plurality of slide bars 13. When locking bar 14 is fully inserted into the box one end is retained in aperture 17, the other end is retained in aperture 18, and one of slide bars 13 slides within each of slots 36. The engagement of the walls of release slots 36 in locking bar 14 with the sides of slide bars 13 prevents removal of locking bar from guide 15. When each slide bar slot 29 is aligned by proper placement of slide bars 13 they form a channel through which locking bar 14 may slide to be removed from guide 15.

An additional locking feature of our lock box includes cantilever spring 38, detent 39, aperture 40 and actuator 41. When the lock box is closed aperture 40 in cantilever spring 38 normally engages detent 39 to thus prevent opening of the box. When actuator 41 is depressed cantilever spring 38 is removed from its engagement with detent 39 to allow opening of the box.

An additional safety feature of our invention is shown in FIG. 3 in the form of a spring biased dowel pin 43 which may be inserted through upper portion 11 of lock box to engage an aperture 14' in locking bar 14 when it is inserted into guide and thus prevent its removal from guide 15 until dowel pin 43 is removed from its engagement with locking bar 14 against the action of coil spring 44.

Slide bars 13 are designed so that each bar must be positioned at a particular point on indicia 34 in order that first slide bar slots 29 are aligned to form a channel to allow the passage of locking bar 14. Locking bar 14 is designed to be inserted into guide 15 through aperture 21 in upper portion 11 of lock box 10 and through aperture 17 in bracket 16 when first slide bars slots 29 are properly aligned. One end of locking bar 14 engages aperture 18 in bracket 16 when the locking bar 14 is in position and the other end engages aperture 17. Bar seat 37 is provided in upper portion 11 of lock box 10 and aligned with aperture 21 so that one end of locking bar 14 may be seated therein, and the opposite end is seated in aperture 21 and covered by cover member 22 so that it may not be manipulated or grasped when the box is closed. Locking bar 14 is designed to the same length as the distance between seat 37 and aperture 21 so that it does not extend outside the lock box when it is locked.

The engagement of locking bar 14 with the upper portion of lock box 10 and the lower portion 12 retains the two portions together until locking bar 14 is removed from the box. After locking bar 14 is in position slide bars 13 are inserted into lock box 10 until they engage second rear abutment member 33. When each of slide bars 13 abutts rear abutment member 33 second slide bar slots 30 are aligned to form a channel for the insertion of dowel 23 through aperture 24 and into engagement with dowel guide 27. Protrusion 25 may be engaged with bracket 26 to prevent accidental removal of dowel 23 from the box. The engagement of dowel 23 with slots in slide bars 13 prevents the movement of slide bars 13 within the box.

Locking bar 14 is designed so that one end is seated in seating member 37 when the box is closed and the other end is covered by cover member 22 so that neither end can be grasped to feel the combination to the lock. The slide bars and the slots therein may be manufactured to a very high degree of accuracy so that the user must have the exact combination in order to properly align first slide bar slots 29 to allow removal of locking bar 4 14. The procedure for unlocking and opening lock box 10 is as follows:

Dowel 23 is turned so as to disengage protrusion 25 from bracket 26 and dowel 23 is removed from its engagement with second slide bar slots 30. Each slide bar is then positioned to its proper position on indicia 34 so that first slide bar slots 29 are aligned. Cover 22 is removed from frame 21 and the entire lock box is tilted to allow locking bar 14 to slide out of lock box 10 through guide 15. Actuator 41 is then depressed to disengage cantilever 38 from detent 39 and the box is then ready to be opened. If desired the box could be provided with a spring actuator so that it will automatically open when actuator 41 is depressed.

If additional safety features are desired or if a different safety feature than cantilever spring 38 is desired, the device shown in FIG. 3 may be incorporated into lock box 10. In such a case dowel pin 43 is inserted through upper portion 11 of lock box 10 and coil spring 44 forces it into engagement with an aperture which may be provided in locking bar 14. The engagement of dowel pin 43 with locking bar 14 prevents its removal until dowel pin 43 is removed from engagement with locking bar 14.

We have shown our combination lock invention in conjunction with a rectangular box-like housing. It is obvious that the lock box could be anything from a cabinet to a jewel case or brief case. Moreover, our lock box could be made of any desired material without invention.

Obviously many changes and modifications in our invention could be made in light of the above teachings and we therefore do not intend to limit the scope of our invention strictly to the device as shown in the specifications and drawings.

What we claim is:

1. In a lock box having a combination type locking mechanism, the invention comprising:

a box having an upper portion and a lower portion said upper portion being removably seated on said lower portion when the lock box is closed;

a plurality of parallel slide bars slidably attached to said upper portion and spaced thereacross, each having at least one slot formed therein perpendicular to its longitudinal axis;

a locking bar having a plurality of release slots formed therein perpendicular to its longitudinal axis and spaced longitudinally along the length thereof, said release slots corresponding in number and spacing across said box to the number and spacing of said plurality of slide bars;

each of said plurality of slide bars being slidably seated within one of said release slots with its longitudinal axis perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said locking bar and engaging the sides of the release slot in which it is seated to prevent movement of the locking box in the direction of its longitudinal axis when the upper portion of said box is seated on the lower portion and the locking bar is inserted into the lock box;

each of said slots in said slide bars being wider than the cross section of said locking bar and forming a channel when aligned one with the other to allow movement of said locking bar in the direction of its longitudinal axis;

a locking bar guide secured to the lower portion of said box by a first and a second bracket and projecting upward therefrom, said first and second brackets having apertures therein larger than the cross section of said locking bar for receiving end engaging the locking bar to prevent lateral movement thereof;

the upper portion of said box having an aperture therein larger in diameter than the cross section of said locking bar and aligned with the apertures in said first and second brackets when the upper portion of said box is seated on the lower portion so that said locking bar may be inserted through the upper portion of said box into said locking bar guide when the upper portion of said box is seated on the lower portion;

said locking bar being the same length as the combination of the length of said locking bar guide, and the thickness of said first and second brackets and said aperture in the upper portion of said box so that when the locking bar is fully inserted into the box one end extends through said aperture in the upper portion of said box and is flush with the exterior surface thereof and the other end is against the inside surface of that wall of the box parallel to and opposite the wall with the aperture therein to prevent removal of the upper portion of said box from the lower portion without removal of said locking bar.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein:

each of said plurality of slide bars has a first and a second slot spaced longitudinally thereon, said second slots being spaced a uniform distance from one end of its respective slide bar;

first abutment means located within the upper portion of said box and at one end for engaging the end of each of said plurality of slide bars nearest said second slot so that the engagement of the end of said slide bars with said abutment members causes alignment of said second slots to form a channel; and

dowel pin means insertable through the upper portion of said box and through the channel formed by said second slots to thus retain said slide bars in a fixed position.

3. The combination as defined in claim 2 including:

second abutment means Within said upper portion of said box having grooves therein for slidably engaging each of said plurality of said slide bars; and

stop means removably affixed to each of said plurality of slide bars for engaging said second abutment means to thereby prevent removal of said slide bars from said box.

4. The combination as defined in claim 3 wherein:

said slide bars are of uniform cross-section so that when said cantilever spring comprising an elongated flexible member attached at one end to the inside surface of the lower portion of said box with its other end extending above the lower portion of said box into the upper portion when the box is closed;

said detent comprising an elongated member attached to the inside surface of the upper portion of said box and extending outward therefrom and being aligned with and engaged in the aperture in said spring when the box is closed;

said actuator comprising an elongated rod-like member being attached at one end to said spring between the two ends thereof and extending through the wall of the lower portion of said box to its exterior;

whereby said detent engages the aperture in said spring when the box is closed to retain the upper portion in its seated position on the lower portion and said actuator may be depressed to disengage said spring from said detent to allow opening of said box.

, 6. The combination as defined in claim 1 including:

attachment means secured to said lower portion of said box, said attachment means comprising a dowel pin and a coil spring;

said locking bar having an aperture therein for receiving said dowel pin, said coil spring being secured to said dowel pin so as to bias it inwardly into engagement with said aperture in said locking bar to thereby prevent removal of the locking bar from the lower portion of said box until said dowel pin is removed from said aperture.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 23,495 5/1952 McDaniel 292-163 X 68,685 9/1867 Basch 298 495,911 4/1893 Ringen 70298 685,135 10/1901 Hart 70298 X 1,652,644 12/1927 Shiek 70298 2,656,206 10/1953 Piker 29286 FOREIGN PATENTS 28,259 1011908 Sweden.

MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner E. J. MCCARTHY, Assistant Examiner U.S. C1. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US68685 *Sep 10, 1867 Henry basch
US495911 *Jul 23, 1892Apr 18, 1893 Combination-lock
US685135 *Jun 12, 1901Oct 22, 1901William L HarrellCombination-padlock.
US1652644 *May 28, 1926Dec 13, 1927Shiek Daniel WLocking device
US2656206 *Jun 21, 1948Oct 20, 1953Hamilton Metal Products CompanSpring lock
USRE23495 *Oct 12, 1948May 20, 1952 Shoe last
SE28259A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3590614 *Feb 12, 1970Jul 6, 1971Kunst Norman TKeyless lock box
US4569214 *Sep 14, 1983Feb 11, 1986Yang Yaw KuenPush button security lock
US5125661 *Jul 12, 1991Jun 30, 1992Jarboe Kent JPush pin combination locking container
US5172575 *Sep 11, 1991Dec 22, 1992Fisher Thomas IGun box latching mechanism
US5189894 *Feb 10, 1992Mar 2, 1993Buck William MQuick opening, child-safe container with digital combination lock
US6126210 *Mar 11, 1999Oct 3, 2000Tom; Anita LeeMethod and apparatus for releasing a latch with two simultaneous non-parallel motions
US6694782Aug 23, 2002Feb 24, 2004Masuhiro MitsuyamaCommodity antitheft implement
US6955068 *Nov 18, 2002Oct 18, 2005Meadwestvaco CorporationMedia disc package with retail security lock
Classifications
U.S. Classification70/298, 70/68, 70/63
International ClassificationE05B37/00, E05B37/16
Cooperative ClassificationE05B37/16
European ClassificationE05B37/16