US 3581980 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Emil F. Kreycik G-6071 Beecher Road R.D., Flint, Mich. 48504 l2l] Appl. Nov 834,648
 Filed June 19, 1969  Patented June 1, I97]  inventor  RURAL MAIL BOX 1 Claim, 8 Drawing Figs.
U.S.Cl 232/35 A47g 29/12 Field of Search 232/35, 34
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,905,378 9/1959 Cox et al 232/35 3,467,303 9/1969 Saatzer i. 232/35 Primary ExaminerFrancis K. Zugel Att0rney-Victor J. Evans and Co.
ABSTRACT: A mail box is provided with a flag adapted to be raised when a resident places mail in a box to be picked up by the carrier, and when the carrier opens the door of the box to withdraw the mail and shuts the door, the flag will automatically move to a downward inoperative position, without the necessity for the carrier having to manually reach out and push the flag to its down position.
PATENTEDJUN nan 3,581,980
"- SHEET 1 BF 2 l 2-- /Z I JNVENTOR.
RURAL MAIL BOX BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is common practice for-residents having 'rural mail boxes to post their mail by placing it in the rural delivery box and then raising the flag so that on his next round, the mail carrier will be apprised of the fact that there is mail in the box to be picked up. Assuming that the carrier has no mail to be deposited in the box, he will be informed bythe position of the flag at the box thatthere is mail to be picked up. Ordinarily, the carrier will open the door of .the mail box, withdraw the mail to be picked up,.shut the door, and then reach from his car to push to a downward position the flag which-has been lifted by the resident and which is normally held in vertical position by friction at its pivot point.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A' flag of generally conventional nature is mounted at one side of the mail box and itspivotal connection with the box is in the form of a pin-and-slot arrangement whereby the flag may be swung to its upper position and then moved downwardly to the limit of the-pin-and-slot arrangement after the resident has opened the mail box door and placed in position therein one or'more pieces of mail to be picked up by a carrier.
The bottom of the door is provided with an angled arm clamped thereto and having pivotal connection at a point spaced from the pivot of the door with the lower end of a link, the upper end of which is slotted to receive a pin carried by the shank of the flag. When the flag is up to indicate the presence in the box of mail to be picked up, the carrier will open the door to withdraw the mail and the lever arm pushes the link upwardly to lift the shank of the flag to the limit of its pin-and-slot connection with a supporting socket against the the mail from the box, the carrier will swing the box to closed position which pulls downwardly on the link to move the bottom of the slot therein beneath the pin carried by the shank of the-flag, thus allowing the latter to continue its last movement to inoperative position. The operations referred to take place automatically upon the opening and closing of the mail box door, thus making it unnecessary forthe carrier to reach from his mail vehicle to push the flag down manually to its inoperative position. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a rural mail box showing the door closed and the flag in upper operative positlon;
FIG. 2 is a similar view with the door moved almost to its fully open position and with the flag starting to move downwardly;
' FIG. 3 is a similar view showing the door fully open with the flag continuing its downward movement;
FIG. 4 is a similar view after the door has again been closed and with the flag in its inoperative position;
FIG. 5 is an end elevation of the door end of the mail box as suggested by line 5-5 in FIG. I;
FIG. E5 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view on line 6-6 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a detail section. on line 7-7 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 8 is a similar view on line 8-8 of FIG. I.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT tional manner. I
The box is provided outwardly of one sidewall 22 thereof with a flag 24 carried by one end of a shank 26. The opposite end of the shank 26 is provided with a longitudinal slot 28 through which passes a pivot pin 30 carried by a supporting socket indicated as a whole by the numeral 32. This socket is formed with a vertical slot 34 (FIG. 8) formed between flanges 36 and 38 fixed as at 40 to the wall 22 of the mail .box. The flange 38 is of limited vertical height as shown in FIGS. I to 4, inclusive, whereas the flange 36 extends substantially higher and is coincident with the upper edge of the wall 42 which forms the slot 34. The junction between the wall 42 and the upper limit of the flange 38 forms a shoulder 44 on which the shank 26 is supported when the flag is in its lower position as shown in FIG. 4.
A U-shaped clamp 48 extends around the shank 26 of the flag as shown in FIG. 7 and is clamped in position with respect thereto as at 50. The outer wall of the clamp 48 carries a pivot pin 52 extending through a slot 54 in an elongated link 56. It will be apparent that link 56 is pivoted to the shank 26 of the flag by the pivot pin 52, while such pivot pin is free to slide in the slot 54.
The lower edge of the door I4 adjacent the sidewall 22 has clamped thereto, as shown in FIG. 6, a lever member 58 provided with a lever arm 60 carrying a pivot pin 62 offset from the pivot 16 of the door. This pivot pin passes through the lower end of the link 56.
OPERATION The parts normally occupy the positions shown in FIG. 4. When the resident desires to post a piece of mail, he will open the door 14 and insert the mail into the mail box. Since the pivot pin 52 is located intermediate the ends of the slot 54, the link 56 is free to move upwardly and to the right from the position in FIG. I when the door is opened. Having placed mail in the box, the resident will close the door and then manually move the flag to the vertical position, the link 56 swinging about its'pivot 62. Having reached the vertical position, the shank 26 is free to move downwardly vertically so that the pin 30 will be arranged in the upper end of the slot 23 as shown in FIG. i, the flag thus being held in vertical position by engagement of the edges of the shank 26 with the edges of the slot 34.
When the mail carrier then passes, he will be apprised of mail in the box to be picked up. The carrier will swing the door downwardly from the position shown in FIG. I, and when the door reaches the position shown in FIG. 2, the lower end of the slot 54 will engage the pin 52 and lift the shank of the flag from the socket 32. When the door is then fully opened, as shown in FIG. 3, the link 56 will have crossed over the pivot axis of the pin 30, whereupon the flag 24 will move downwardly to the position shown in FIG. 3. It is desirable to arrest movement of the flag intermediate its two positions to prevent the edge of the shank 26 from striking hard against the shoulder 44'. At such an intermediate point, as shown in FIG. 3, the pin 52 will engage the bottom of the slot 54 to prevent at this time further downward movement of the flag.
Having withdrawn mail from the box, the carrier will now swing the door 14 back to its closed position. This movement of the door pulls downwardly and forwardly on the link 56 to move the bottom of the slot 54 away from the pin 52, whereuport the flag will continue its downwardly movement to the position shown in FIG. 4. Thus it is unnecessary for the carrier to reach further from his vehicle to push the flag to its inoperative position after he has withdrawn mail from the box. In other words, he will open the door, withdraw the mail from the box, and then close the door, and during the latter operation, the flag will automatically return to its inoperative'position. This obviously saves time and effort on the part of the carrier. The attachment of the device toa mail box is relatively simple and its use does not violate any postal regulations regarding the alteration of mail boxes. I
Fromthe foregoing it will now be seen that there is herein provided an improved rural mail box which accomplishes all of the objects of this invention and others, including many advantages of great practical utility and commercial importance.
As various embodiments may be made of this inventive concept, and as many modifications may be made in the embodiment hereinbefore shown and described, it is to be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted merely as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.
l. A signal for a rural mail box having a sidewall and a door pivoted at the' lower end thereof, comprising a flag having a shank extending vertically downwardly when in operative signaling position, pivot means connecting the lower end of said shank to said sidewall, and operating means connected between said door and said shank for transmitting movement thereto out of vertical position when said door is opened,
whereby, when said door is closed, said flag drops to a horizontal inoperative position adjacent said wall, said operating means comprising a lever carried by said door and a link having a longitudinal slot and connected between said lever and said shank, said shank having an adjustable pin extending transverse therefrom, slidably secured through said longitudinal slot and positionable along any desired point along the length of said shank, said link having its lower end pivotally connected to said lever at a point eccentric to the pivot of said door whereby when the latter is opened, said link is moved in an upward direction to transmit a force to said shank to incline the latter from the vertical whereby when said door is closed, said flag will drop to horizontal position.