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Publication numberUS3744830 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 10, 1973
Filing dateDec 13, 1971
Priority dateFeb 4, 1970
Publication numberUS 3744830 A, US 3744830A, US-A-3744830, US3744830 A, US3744830A
InventorsW Levack
Original AssigneeW Levack
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety medicine cabinet
US 3744830 A
Abstract
A cabinet which is extremely difficult for a child to open comprising a substantially rectangular box having a downwardly opening hinged front, the longest dimension of said box is substantially transverse and designed to be greater than the normal arm length of a five-year old child, the front latched in place by first and second gravity latches, the first latch movable to the non-latching position through the use of a first pivotal bar with operation of the first pivotal bar being through an opening in the left side of the cabinet, the second latch movable to the non-latching position through the use of a second pivotal bar with operation of the second pivotal bar being through an opening in the right side of the cabinet, each of the first and second latches are interiorly spaced from their respective sides a distance to prevent actuation by a child, both the first and second latches must be in the non-latched position to permit opening of the cabinet.
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United States Patent 1 Levack SAFETY MEDICINE CABINET [76] Inventor: Walter R. Levack, 7900 Chase Avenue, Los Angeles, Calif. 90045 22 Filed: Dec. 13, 1971 21 Appl.No.:207,352

Related US. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 8,490, Feb. 4, 1970, Pat. No.

[52] US. Cl. 292/29, 292/134, 292/DIG. 13 [51] Int. Cl. E05 c 9/00, E05c 19/10 [58] Field of Search 292/11, 29, 26, 97,

2921100, 126, 134, DIG. 13

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,402,964 l/l922 Robertson 292/29 2,936,189 5/1960 Peerson 292/42 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 59,614 l/l9l2 Switzerland 292/126 88,922 5/1960 Denmark 292/DIG. 13

[ July 10, 1973 Primary Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Attorney-Robert E. Geauque [5 7] ABSTRACT A cabinet which is extremely difficult for a child to open comprising a substantially rectangular box having a downwardly opening hinged front, the longest dimension of said box is substantially transverse and designed to be greater than the normal arm length of a five-year old child, the front latched in place by first and second gravity latches, the first latch movable to the nonlatching position through the use of a first pivotal bar with operation of the first pivotal bar being through an opening in the left side of the cabinet, the second latch movable to the non-latching position through the use of a second pivotal bar with operation of the second pivotal bar being through an opening in the right side of the cabinet, each of the first and second latches are interiorly spaced from their respective sides a distance to prevent actuation by a child, both the first and second latches must be in the non-latched position to permit opening of the cabinet.

6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures SAFETY MEDICINE CABINET This application is a division of patent application entitled Safety Medicine Cabinet, Ser. No. 8,490, filed Feb. 4, I970 and now US. Pat. No. 3,637,245, by the present inventor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION To keep medicines and other toxic substances away from children is a well known problem to all parents. Frequently, in most houses medicines are stored in a medicine cabinet located in the bathroom of a house. In an attempt to keep children from entering the cabinet, the cabinet is usually located a substantial distance above the floor frequently above a sink or the like. However, experience has shown it takes little ingenuity for a child to determine a way to enter the cabinet.

In an attempt to keep children out of such medicine cabinets, heretofore padlocks or other similar locking devices have been employed. However, such separate locking devices are inconvenient in that when it is desired to enter the cabinet, a key must be first secured (from its hiding place), the cabinet opened and the particular contents removed and then relocked. To replace the contents, the procedure is to be repeated. In an effort to overcome the use of a key, a combination lock has been employed. However, the person must then remember the combination or if it is written down, the parents run the risk of the child finding the combination. Besides the poor appearance of such a separate locking device, it is usually easy for a person to leave the cabinet unlocked until the removed contents are replaced. During the interval of time prior to replacement of the medicine, a child could manage to enter the cabinet and remove and consume some of the medicine contained therein.

It would be most desirable to design a medicine cabinet which could only be opened by adults and not by children, and a cabinet which did not employ the use of separate locking devices but could be opened directly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION I It has been found that the arm reach of the average -year old child is less than 36 inches, so the medicine cabinet of this invention has been designed to be of a transverse length of 36 inches. The cabinet is substantially rectangular with the front of the cabinet hinged at its lower edge to open downwardly. The front is closable by first and second gravity latches. The first gravity latch is movable to the unlatched position by manually moving a first pivotal bar through an opening in the left side. The second gravity latch is movable to the unlatched position by manually moving a second pivotal bar through an opening in the right side. Both the first and second latches must be moved simultaneously to the unlatched positions to permit entrance into the cabinet. In order for each of the pivotal bars to be activated, a finger reach is required of approximately two inches from their respective openings which, even if a child had the necessary arm reach, the child still could not open the cabinet if he did not have the necessary finger length. A pair of spring biased ball latches are to cooperate with the front so that it will be readily known upon closing the cabinet that the gravity latches are fully engaged.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a front, partially cut-away view of the first embodiment of the medicine cabinet of this invention;

F IG..2 is a top, partially cut-away, sectional view of the first embodiment of the medicine cabinet of this invention;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing the latches in the unlatched position; and

FIG. 4 is a cut-away, partly-in-section view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SHOWN EMBODIMENT Referring particularly to the drawing there is shown in FIG. 1 a substantially rectangular medicine cabinet 10 having a front 12, a top 14, a bottom 16, a back 18, a left side 20 and a right side 22. The front 12 is pivotally connected by hinge 24 to the bottom 16. The front 12 includes an upper flange 26 which when in the closed positions extends over a portion of the top 14. Likewise, a left side flange 28 and a right side flange 30 extend from front 12 and extend over the left side 20 and the right side 22, respectively. I

Attached to the interior side of top 14 substantially at the mid-point of its length and adjacent its front edge are first and second gravity latches 32 and 34. Each of the latches 32 and 34 are independently pivotally supported upon a pivot pin 36, pivot pin 36 being attached to bifurcated bracket 38 which is fixed to top 14. Each of the latches 32 and 34 includes a hooked front portion which are capable of moving by gravity about a latch pin 40. Latch pin 40 is fixedly secured to bracket 42 which is securely fixed to front 12. The hook portion of each latch 32 and 34 is cammed 44 on its exterior surface so that upon contact by latch pin 40 each of the latches 32 and 34 is moved toward the unlatched position.

First pivot bar 46 is attached to first gravity latch 32 and capable of moving latch 32 to the unlatched position. Bar 46 is pivotally mounted upon trunnion 48 which is located about one-third of the length of bar 46 from the manual actuating handle 50. Second pivot bar 52 is attached to second gravity latch 34 and capable of moving latch 34 to the unlatched position. Bar 52 is pivotally mounted upon trunnion 54 which is located about one-third of the length of bar 52 from the manual actuating handle 56. As the weight of each of the bars 46 and 52 and their respective latches 32 and 34 inwardly of their respective trunnions 48 and 54 exceeds that of the portion of the bars outwardly of the trunnions 48 and 54, the latches 32 and 34 will assume their lowest position and can be raised to the unlatched position by manual downward pressure upon handles 50 and 56. A first opening 55 located within side 20 provides entrance for a persons finger to operate handle 50. A second opening 57 located within side 22 provides entrance for a persons finger to operate handle 56.

A first ball latch 58 being biased upwardly by a spring 60 being supported in a cylindrical housing 62 extends partially through an opening within top 14. A second ball latch 64 being biased upwardly by a spring 66 being supported in a cylindrical housing 67 extends partially through an opening within top 14. Latches 58 and 64 are located directly adjacent the front edge of top 14, latch 58 being located adjacent latch 32 and latch 64 being located adjacent latch 34. The ball latches 58 and 64 are to cooperate with detents located within flange 26.

The operation of the medicine cabinet of this invention is as follows: It will be assumed that the cabinet is closed. To open the cabinet a person must insert a finger of their left hand through opening 55 into contact with handle 50, move handle 50 downwardly (away from top 14), thereby causing the pivoting of latch 32 to the unlatched position. Simultaneously the person must insert a finger of their right hand through opening 57 into contact with handle 56, move handle 56 downwardly (away from top 14), thereby causing the pivoting of latch 34 to the unlatched position. The person then uses his thumbs to cause movement of the front 12 about the hinge 24 against the action of the ball latches 58 and 64 until the front 12 swings freely and downward. Both handles 50 and 56 must be held in the down position while the thumbs open the front 12. Entry into the cabinet 10 is now provided.

To close the cabinet 10 the person only need swing front 12 about hinge 24 until latch pin 40 contacts the camming surfaces 44 of the latches 32 and 34. Further closing movement of the front 12 causes the latches 32 and 34 to move toward top 14 until the hook portion of each of the latches 32 and 34 moves by gravity toward bottom 16 about latch pin 40. As it is not possible to see if the latches 32 and 34 are in the latched position, ball latches 58 and 64 are located so that when each of these latches are cooperating with their respective detents within flange 26, the latches 32 and 34 are in the latched position. if a child attempts to open the cabinet 10 by pivoting only one bar thereby releasing only one latch (either 32 or 34), the other bar will still engage latch pin 40 and prevent opening of the cabinet What is claimed as new in support of Letters Patent 1. A medicine cabinet comprising:

a substantially rectangular unit composed of at least a top, a front, a left side, a right side and a bottom, said front hingedly connected to said bottom;

a first and second latch secured to said top, said latches movable independently of each other, each of said latches movable by gravity to a latched position, each of said latches cooperating with a latch pin mounted upon said front when located in said latched position; and

a first actuating bar for said first latch capable of moving said first latch to an unlatched position, a second actuating bar for said second latch capable of moving said second latch to an unlatched position, said first actuating bar operable from adjacent said left side, said second actuating bar operable from adjacent said right side, both of said latches must be moved simultaneously to said unlatched position to effect pivoting of said front with respect to said bottom.

2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein:

the transverse distance between said left side and said right side being substantially 36 inches whereby such length is normally greater than the spread arm distance of a 5-year old child.

3. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein:

said first actuating bar having a first handle facilitating movement by a human finger, said second actuating bar having a second handle facilitating movement by a human finger, said first handle spaced inwardly of said left side and operable through a first opening in said left side, said second handle spaced inwardly of said right side and operable through a second opening in said right side.

4. An apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein:

said spacing of said first handle from said left side and said spacing of said second handle from said right side is approximately 2 inches, whereby the length of an adult finger is sufficient for actuation of said first and second bars but normally the finger length of a 5-year old child is not sufficient to cause actuation of said first and second bars.

5. An apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein:

said first and second actuating bars are fulcrunred for pivotal movement intermediate their length, said fulcrum point of each of said first and second bars is located approximately one-third the bar length from its respective handle.

6. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein:

a plurality of ball latches located to cooperatebetween said top and a portion of said front when said first and second latches are in said latched position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1402964 *Jul 12, 1920Jan 10, 1922Everette W H RobertsonAutomatic fastening and releasing device for automobile hoods
US2936189 *Feb 27, 1959May 10, 1960Peter BegelmanReceptacle safety latch means
CH59614A * Title not available
DK88922A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4915430 *Oct 28, 1988Apr 10, 1990Mobil Service Systems, Inc.Tamper resistant latch
US5172575 *Sep 11, 1991Dec 22, 1992Fisher Thomas IGun box latching mechanism
US5697655 *Dec 11, 1995Dec 16, 1997Strong; BernardVibration operated safety latching device
US5785363 *Aug 9, 1995Jul 28, 1998Stopfer; JoachimLatching mechanism for cupboard doors and drawers
Classifications
U.S. Classification292/29, 292/DIG.130, 292/134, 292/DIG.650
International ClassificationE05B65/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B65/0014, A47B2067/025, Y10S292/65, Y10S292/13
European ClassificationE05B65/00E