US 3592521 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Donald E. Cox
Rolling Hiils Estates, Canada 7547 Feb. 2, 1970 July 13,1971
(72] lnventor Appl. No. Filed Patented Assignee LOCKBOX 14 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 Field 0! Search Int. Cl A47b 88/20 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1891 Baier .1 312/333 8/1911 Jadronja 312/333 8/1950 Bremer 312/333 X 2/1970 Olree et a]. 312/221 X FOREIGN PATENTS 5/1927 France 9/52 Primary Examiner--.lames T. McCall Attorney-Ni1sson, Robbins, Wills & Berliner ABSTRACT: A drawer-type lockbox for service stations and the like in which key-operated reciprocating locking bars engage spring-loaded keepers. A cover plate is secured to the front wail of the drawer over the locking bar mechanism and one or more slits are defined through the front wall over the cover and in line of sight with the space between the bottom wall of the drawer and a cash tray in the drawer.
PATENTED JUL 1 31971 SHEET 1 [IF 2 INVENTOR DO/V/QLD cox BY PATENTED JUL13|97| 3,592,521
sum 2 0F 2 INVENTOR.
DO/VOLD 5. cox, BY
LOCKBOX FIELD OF THE INVENTION The field of an to which the invention pertains includes the field of lockboxes including tills.
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Automotive service stations, drive-through markets and other such facilities which provide to the car" service are beset by theft problems peculiar to their business. To give efficient service, these facilities generally use a cashbox of some sort at the service site, which is usually in the open at a point of easy access by the public. Attempts to pilfer such cashboxes are common are are often made during a short period of time when the attendant has his attention diverted. Accordingly, such cashboxes must be secure against short term forcing attempts.
The present invention provides a lockbox for use in service stations and the like, which is secure against forceful theft, yet which is relatively inexpensive in construction. The lockbox provided herein is designed so that there is no direct access to any of the components of the locking mechanism, the structures concealing such components being disposed so as to provide added security against access. Also provided are means whereby credit purchase slips can be deposited in the lockbox without opening the box.
With respect to specific structural details, the lockbox includes: a housing; a drawer slidably disposed in the housing to close therewith; a locking mechanism on the front wall of the drawer in which locking bars are pivotally connected to a key operated lever for reciprocation by the lever; keepers disposed in the housing engaged with the other ends of the extended locking bars to prevent forward movement of the drawer and disengaged therefrom when the locking bars are retracted; and resiliently deformable means for snapping the locking bars and keepers into engagement when the drawer is closed. In a particular embodiment, the keepers are spring loaded bolts having beveled forward faces whereby to effect snap engagement with the ends of the locking bars. The bolts are of heattempered steel and the engaging edges of the keepers are formed with substantially untapered widths, to thereby provide greater resistance against forced entry.
The locking mechanism is connected to the front wall of the drawer and a cover plate is provided over the locking bars substantially from one sidewall to the other sidewall of the drawer. The cover plate includes a flange lengthwise of its edge which is secured flush to the front wall of the drawer to prevent forced access to the locking bars. A back bar is provided in the drawer spaced from the front wall to define a compartment for the locking bars and to provide means for guiding movement of the locking bars. The housing is formed with front portions defining an opening through which the drawer is slidably disposed, the front wall of the drawer extending beyond the sidewalls of the drawer whereby to engage the front housing portions when the drawer is closed, thus preventing access to the spring-loaded bolts.
A cash tray is supported in the drawer spaced from the bottom and front walls thereof. One or more slits are defined through the front drawer wall, above the cover plate and in line-of-sight communication with the space between the cash tray and the bottom wall of the drawer.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of the lockbox, in an open position and with a portion of the front wall of the drawer cut away to show the disposition of the cover plate;
FIG. 2 is a perspective, somewhat exploded view of the components of the cashbox of FIG. 1 with portions thereof cut away;
FIG. 3 is a view of the spring-loaded keeper taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2, in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the locking mechanism of the invention in closed position and fragmentary parts of adjacen'; drawer and housing structure; and
FIG. 5 is a view on line 5-5 of FIG. 4, in the direction of the arrows, but in which the locking mechanism has been turned to an open position.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION As required, a detailed illustrative embodiment of the invention is disclosed herein. However, it is to be understood that this embodiment merely exemplifies the invention which may take many different forms that are radically different from the specific illustrative embodiment disclosed. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims defining the scope of the invention.
Referring initially to FIG. 1, there is shown a lockbox of this invention with the drawer I2 opened. The lockbox 10 includes a housing 14 having a top portion 16 and bottom portion 18 joined integrally at overlapping flanged edges, such as at 20, to form a unitary structure. The housing is formed with a bottom wall 22 and a middle horizontal wall 23 defining an open compartment 24 therebetween, as is known in the art to accommodate accessory items such as clipboards, and the like. The top housing portion 16 overhangs the bottom portion 18 and a single sheet of metal defines the top wall 26, sidewalls 28 and 30 and overhang. As will be described in more detail hereinafter, spaced auxiliary sidewalls are formed with forward flange portions 32 and 34 which define a front wall for the housing 14 and an opening 36 therein through which the drawer 12 can slide.
The drawer 12 is fonned with sidewalls 38 and 40, a rear wall 42 and bottom wall 43 (FIG. 2) and a front wall 44. The front wall 44 extends laterally beyond the sidewalls 38 and so that when the drawer 12 is closed the front wall 44 engages the flanged members 32 and 34 constituting the front wall of the housing 14. As will be detailed hereinafter, the locking mechanism includes keepers disposed through the auxiliary spaced sidewalls and access thereto is prevented by engagement of the drawer front wall 44 with the flange members 32 and 34. There is additionally provided elongate angle irons such as 46 vertically on each flanged member 32 and 34 adjacent the opening 36, and which are engageable by inwardly bent flanges 48 and 50 formed along the side of the front drawer wall 44. Similarly formed top and bottom flanges 52 and 54 engage the downwardly formed flanges 56 and 58 on the middle wall 23, and of a reinforcement plate 62, respectively, as shown in FIG. 2.
A cash tray 64 is supported in the drawer l2 spaced from the bottom wall 43 and from the front wall 44 so as to define a compartment 66 between the bottom of the cash tray 64 and the bottom wall 43. This compartment 66 is utilized to store charge transaction slips and other such materials as utilized in the conducting of an automotive service business. As will be described hereinafter, a locking mechanism is provided on the front wall 44, including a lock 57 on the front drawer wall 44, operated by key 59, and locking bars and linkages which are concealed by an elongated cover plate 70 running substantially from one sidewall 38 to the other sidewall 40 of the drawer. In an important aspect of this invention, one or more slits 72 are formed through the front wall 44 above the cover 6 5 plate 70, and the cash tray 64 is disposed so that there is direct communication between the slits 72 and the compartment 66 therebelow. In particular, there is line of sight communication between the slits 72 and the compartment 66, as indicated by the line 74, whereby charge transaction slips, and the like, may be inserted in the drawer 12 while closed. The slips slide over the cover plate 70 directly into the compartment 66 beneath the cash tray 64 and can be gathered at a later, convenient time. The particular arrangement of slits 72, the cover plate 70 and the locking mechanism combine to effect desira- 75 ble functions in a secure, yet economical manner.
Referring now to FIG. 2, details of construction of the lockbox are shown more clearly. The top portion 16 of the housing 14 is formed ofa single sheet of metal, as previously indicated, shaped to define the top and sidewalls 26, 28 and 30. Similarly. the reinforcement plate 62 is formed integrally with inner sidewalls 76 and 78 depending therefrom and spaced from the outer sidewalls 28 (cut away in FIG. 2) and 30, the forward ends thereof being bent into the flanged members 32 and 34 referred to above as constituting the front wall of the housing. Drawer guides, such as 80, of channel bar construction are secured by spotwelding, or other means, along the inner sidewalls 76 and 78. Channel runners, such as 82, are secured to the drawer 12 to slidably engage the drawer guides 80, aided by guiding tabs 84 and antifriction rollers 86 and 88 on the guides and runners, respectively. The drawer 12 is thus slidably mounted within the opening 36 and supported therein by the drawer guides 80, all as known in the art.
The rear portion of the top plate 62 is bent downwardly to form a rear wall 90 for the housing 14. A pair of springs 92 and 94 are secured in the housing to the rear wall 90 by means of brackets, such as 96, and serve to propel the drawer 12 to an open position when unlocked. A clevis 98 is also secured to the rear wall 90 and supports a spring-loaded sliding bolt 100 which extends through apertures therefor in the housing middle wall 23 and bottom wall 25 to extend into a supporting structure (not shown) such as a pedestal, or the like, on which the lockbox 10 is disposed. For this purpose, the bottom of the housing portion 18 is formed with rails (not shown) for mating engagement with corresponding guides on the pedestal, all as known in the art. The lockbox can be installed by sliding the lockbox into position on the pedestal, with the slide bolt I raised, to its predetermined position whereupon the slide bolt is dropped into engagement with an opening in the pedestal, locking the lockbox securely in place. A bracket 101 (FIG. 1) is provided atop the housing to which accessory devices can be bolted.
With respect to the drawer construction, a pair of elongate ledges such as 102 are secured by spotwelding to the drawer sidewalls 38 and 40, and are provided with upwardly bent retaining members 104 for abutment thereagainst of the forward end of the cash tray 64. A spacing bracket 106 is secured to the drawer rear wall 42 and serves to space the tray 64 against the abutment members 104.
An elongate back bar 108 of sheet metal and having flanged edges, such as at 110, is secured by spotwelding, or the like, at the edges 110 to the drawer sidewalls 38 and 40 spaced from the drawer front wall 44 so as to define a compartment 112 for the locking mechanism. This compartment is covered by a cover plate 70, as previously described, of heavy construction, which plate 70 is formed with an upwardly turned elongate flange 114 forwardly thereof and a downwardly turned elongate flange 116 rearwardly thereof. The forward flange 114 is secured by blind screws 118 and nuts 120 therefor through holes 124 in the front drawer wall 44. The rear flange 116 is secured by screws and nuts (not shown) to the back bar 108 through holes 126 therethrough (FIG. By such means, the cover plate 70 is securely fixed over the locking mechanism preventing forcible access thereto.
The locking mechanism utilized in this invention is depicted in detail in FIGS. 3-5 and includes a key-operated cylindrical lock 57 disposed within an opening centrally of the front drawer wall 44 and provided with a threaded body 130 secured to the wall 44 by means ofa securing nut 132 thereon. The lock 57 terminates in a rotatable cam member 134, which is free to rotate clockwise, counterclockwise rotation thereof being limited by a limit pin 136 on the lock body 130 extending rearwardly thereof. The cam member is disposed to engage an arm 138 of a lever plate 140. which is pivotally secured centrally thereof to a stud 142 (FIG. 5) centrally through the back bar 108 and secured in place by locknuts on both sides thereof, such as 144. The lever plate 140 is provided with apertures adjacent its free ends to freely receive the offset ends 146 and I48 of a pair of locking bars 150 and 152 respectively, the offset locking bar ends 146 and 148 being pivotally secured by pivot pins 154 and 156, respectively.
The locking bars are depicted in a closed position in FIG. 4 and in an open position in FIG. 5. When in a closed position, the terminal ends 158 and 160 of the licking bars extend through slots 162 and 164 in the drawer sidewalls 38 and 40 (see also FIG. 2). The locking bars 150 and 152 are supported within guide members 166 and 168 secured by spotwelding to the back bar 108. The guide members 166 and 168 are formed wider at the inner ends 170 than at their outer ends 172 so as to allow for the vertical movement of the locking bars 150 and 152 during reciprocation.
With the drawer closed, the terminal ends 158 and 1160 of the locking bars extend almost to the inner sidewalls 76 and 78, and are retained therein by keepers which are in the form of spring-loaded sliding bolts 174 and 176. Referring specifically to FIG. 3, the sliding bolts 174 is depicted in detail. Each sliding bolt includes a rectangular housing 178 formed of one piece of heat-tempered sheet metal, a spring 180 in the housing, and a rectangular slide bolt 182 disposed in the housing against the spring 180. A limit pin 184 extends through the slide bolt 182 and engages limit slots 186 and 187 defined by the bolt housing 178 to retain the bolt within the bolt housing 178. The bolt housing 178 is formed with a pair of apertured forward flanges 188 (FIG. 5) by which the bolt may be secured to the inner sidewalls 76 and 78. The bolts 174 and 176 are constructed of heat-tempered steel as I have found that such treatment materially enhances the strength of securement of the closure with the locking bars 150 and 152.
Referring specifically to FIG. 5, when the cylindrical lock 57 is rotated clockwise, the cam member 134 engages the lever plate arm 138 and rotates it whereby the locking bars 150 and 152 are rotated out of engagement with the slide bolts 182 and the drawer 12 is pushed open by force of the springs 92 and 94. A spring 190 is provided connecting one of the locking bars 152 to the back bar 108 whereby when the key 68 is released, the locking bars 150 and 152 are returned to their extended position. The slide bolts 182 are formed with beveled forward faces 192 so that closure of the drawer effects reciprocation of the bolts 182 against the springs 180 for snap engagement with the locking bar ends 158 and 160. Thus, a rapid, simple and effective mechanism is provided whereby the drawer 12 may be snapped shut automatically upon its closure and securely retained in a closed position until a key is turned to open the lock.
In summary of the operation, one need merely rotate the key 59 clockwise to effect the release of the locking bars 150 and 152 from engagement with the spring loaded slide bolts 174 and 176 whereupon the action of the rear springs 192 and 194 thrusts the drawer 12 open. Release of the key returns the locking bars 150 and 152 to their original position. The key may then be withdrawn and the drawer locked at any time by merely closing the drawer 12, the beveled faces 192 of the slide bolts 182 reacting against the thrust of the locking bar ends 158 and 160 to slide into respective bolt housings 178 whereby to snap lock the locking bars 150 and 152 in place.
By disposing the spring loaded slide bolts 174 and 176 on the opposing inner sidewalls 76 and 78, forcible access thereto is effectively prevented by the overlap of the drawer front wall 44 against the front of the housing as defined by the flanged members 32 and 34 of the sidewalls 76 and 78, particularly in view of the closure action of the flanged edges 48 and 50 of the drawer front wall 44 against the angle irons 46 vertically disposed on the flanged members 32 and 34. The result is a lockbox of economical construction so as to allow widespread distribution, but which is simple and easy to operate and very secure against theft.
What Iclaim is:
1. A lockbox, comprising:
a drawer slidably disposed in said housing to close therewith;
a locking mechanism in said drawer'comprising a keyoperated lever and locking bars pivotally connected to said lever for reciprocation by said lever from an extended, closed position to a retracted, open position;
keepers disposed in said housing, engaged with the outer ends of said locking bars when extended whereby to prevent forward movement of said drawer and disengaged therefrom when said locking bars are retracted; and
resiliently defonnable means for snapping said locking bars and keepers into engagement when said drawer is closed.
2. The invention according to claim 1 in which the keeperengaging edges of said locking bars are substantially untapered in width.
3. The invention according to claim in which said keepers comprise spring-loaded bolts having beveled forward faces whereby to effect said snap engagement.
4. The invention according to claim 3 in which said housing includes front portions defining an opening for said drawer, said drawer having sidewalls and a front wall extending beyond said sidewalls whereby to engage said front housing portions when said drawer is closed to thereby prevent access to said bolts.
5. The invention according to claim 3 in which said bolts are of heat-tempered steel.
6. The invention according to claim 1 in which said locking bars are pivotally connected at their inner ends to the outer ends of said lever.
7. The invention according to claim 1 including a cover plate over said locking bars substantially from one to the other sideof said drawer.
8. The invention according to claim 7 including a flange lengthwise of the edge of said cover plate, and including spaced from the front of said drawer to define a compartment for said locking bars and guiding means for said locking bars mounted on said back bar.
10. The inventionaccording to claim 9 including a cover plate enclosing said compartment and secured to the front of said drawer.
11 The invention according to claim 7 including a cash tray supported in said drawer spaced from the bottom thereof, said drawer having a front wall defining at least one slit above said cover plate in communication with the space between said cash tray and said bottom wall.
12. A lockbox, comprising:
a drawer having a front wall and a bottom wall and slidably disposed in said housing to close therewith;
a locking mechanism in said drawer and connected to said front wall;
a cover plate over said locking mechanism;
a cash tray; and
means for supporting said cash tray in said drawer spaced from said bottom wall;
the front wall of said drawer defining at least one slit above said cover plate in communication with the space between said cash tray and said bottom wall.
13. The invention according to claim 12 including means for spacing the front of said cashbox from the front wall of the said drawer.
14. The invention according to claim 12 in which said slit is in line of sight with space between said cash tray and said bottom wall.