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Publication numberUS3802619 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1974
Filing dateJun 26, 1972
Priority dateJun 26, 1972
Publication numberUS 3802619 A, US 3802619A, US-A-3802619, US3802619 A, US3802619A
InventorsVanderveer F
Original AssigneeLeigh Prod Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Theft resistant mail box with flag
US 3802619 A
Abstract
A box with a fixed top has an inwardly and upwardly swinging door across the upper edge of its front wall. The door is spring pressed closed over an inwardly projecting security lip along the lower edge of the door opening. A combined entry blocking gate and outgoing mail shelf is pivotally supported across the upper part of the box behind the lip to prevent reaching into the bottom of the box. A lockable mail removal door is hinged in the lower portion of the front wall. An outgoing mail signal flag on one end of the box has a yieldable holding detent to hold flag erect and signal the presence of outgoing mail supported on the upper side of the gate. An upstanding flange along the back of the gate prevents outgoing mail from falling into the bottom of the box.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Leigh ProductsJnc. et al.

[111 3,802,619 1 Apr. 9, 1974 THEFT RESISTANT MAIL BOX WITH FLAG [75] Inventor: Frederic B. Vanderveer,Grand Rapids, Mich.

[73] Assignee: Leigh Products, Inc.,Coopersville,

Mich.

[22] Filed: June 26, 1972 [21] A'ppl. No.: 266,273

[52] U.S. Cl 232/17, 232/35, 16/135,

l6/l42, 287/14, 232/27 [51] Int. Cl B65d 91/00 [58] Field of Search 232/17, 24, 19, 20, 21,

[56] References Cited Challeen 232/24 3,144,985 8/1964 Coyne, Jr 232/17 X 2,431,838 12/1947 Staley 232/17 1,480,452 l/1924 Kolstad 232/17 Primary ExaminerBobby R. Gay Assistant Examiner-Peter A. Aschenbrenner 5 7] ABSTRACT A box with a fixed top has an inwardly and upwardlyswinging door across the upper edge of its front wall. The door is spring pressed closed over an inwardly projecting security lip along the lower edge of the door opening. A combined entry blocking gate and outgoingmail shelf is plvotally supported across the upper part of the box behind the lip to prevent reaching into the bottom of the box. A lockable mail removal door is hinged in the lower portion of the front wall. An outgoing mail signal flag on one end of the box has a yieldable holding detent to hold flag erect and signal the presence of outgoing mail supported on the upper side of the gate. An upstanding flange along the back of the gate prevents outgoing mail from falling into the bottom of the box.

15 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPR 91914 3 802 619 sum 1 or 3 ATENTEU 91974 3,8 02,619

SHEET 2 OF 3 1 THEFT RESISTANT MAIL BOX WITH FLAG OUTLINE or INVENTION The invention lies in the relative shapes and locations of the entrance door, security lip, and combined blocking gate and outgoing mail shelf across the upper part of a box with a separate and lockable access door. The flag has a novel molded yieldable holding detent that permits the flag to be lowered with a simple push.

DESCRIPTION The drawings, of which there are three sheets illustrate a practicaland preferred embodiment of the box FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the box.

FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the right end of the box, with the flag raised.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view along the line 3-3 in FIG. 1. y

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary enlarged cross sectional view showing the blocking gate in its two extreme positions, the position for deposit and removal of outgoing mail being shown in dotted lines.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross sectional view taken along the line 5-5 in FIG. 4, showing the mounting of the deflector and security shelf in the box.

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of the signal flag.

FIG. 7 is an elevational view of the retaining cover for the flag.

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of the molded bearing and holding detent for the flag.

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the bearing and detent.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the flag elements assembled on the box.

The box as illustrated is assembled from pre-molded panels secured together. While this is not essential to the invention it will explain the particular construction shown. The box has end walls 1 and 2, a back wall 3 molded integrally with a bottom wall 4 and a lid or cover wall 5. The front wall consists of an access or mail removal door 6 which is separated from anupper deposit door 7 by a cross brace 8. The cross brace 8'is a rearwardly opening channel shaped metal member that is bolted to angle shaped bosses 81 molded in inwardly projecting relation on the end walls of the box. A continuous hinge 9 screwed to the front of the bottom wall secures the bottom of the access door to the box. A key operated lock 10 carried by the access door engages a keeper 1] on the cross brace 8. A spring catch 12 on the swinging edge of the access door also engages a keeper hole 13 in the cross brace.

The mail deposit door 7 which is a metal extrusion or stamping is pivoted between the end walls by drive pins 14. A leaf spring 15 having its upper end received under bosses 16 on the cover is engaged behind a flange 17 on the lower edge of the deposit door to urge that door to closed position so it will not rattle in the wind. A handle 18 in the form of an extrusion is secured along the top of the access door, and has a flange 19 which overhangs the exterior of the lock. An upper flange 181 on the handle 18 acts as a stop for the lower edge of the mail deposit door, and as a weather seal.

A signal flag 20 which will be described in greater detail presently is mounted on the right end wall 2 to indicate the presence of outgoing mail to the letter carrier. The bottom wall 4 is inclined downwardly and ribbed as at 21 for drainage and to facilitate picking up mail. The back wall 3 is vertical and providedwith holes 22 for securing the box to the wall of a house, or to a bracket on a post (not shown). The cover or lid 5 overhangs the doors in the front wall for shelter.

With particular reference to FIGS. 3, 4 and 5,-it will be noted that a mail deflector generally indicated at 23 extends across the top of the box behind the brace 8. The deflector is conveniently made as a metal extrusion with a central web 24 that is rearwardly flanged at 25 on its lower edge. A forwardly inclined upper flange 26 has a rolled bead 27. A shelf 28 projects downwardly and rearwardly from near the middle of the web and then turns upwardly in a flange 29 for the retention of outgoing mail. Ears 291 turned upwardly from the ends of the central web 24 re'ceivepivot pins 30 molded on the end walls 1 and 2.

Protrusions or bosses 31 on the end wall act as stops and engage upper flange 26 to limit the opening between the inner rear edge of the flange 32 on brace 8 and the central web 24 and flange 26 on the deflector. This opening is narrower than a persons hand so mail cannot be taken out of the box through the deposit door opening. Bosses or studs 33 on the end walls engage the letter support flange 28 and prevent the deflector 23 from being tilted forwardly below the flange 32 on the cross brace, while permitting the deflector to be tilted forwardly to fully expose a letter L deposited on the deflector to be picked up by the carrier. The deflector normally hangs in the generally upright but downwardly and rearwardly inclined position against the stops 31 as shown by the full line position in FIG. 4, by reason of its own weight. The relatively angled surfaces of the central web 24, upper flange 26 and letter shelf 28 facilitate picking up and removing outgoing letters, while unauthorized access to incoming mail is prevented by the depth of the box below the deflector 23 and cross brace 8.

The mounting. of the flag 20 is shown more particularly in FIGS. 6 10. The right end wall 2 has a recess 34 formed in its outer surface which receives a circular friction spacer 35 of molded nylon. A pin 36 on the spacer has an antirotational engagement in a hole in the wall. A central boss 37 on the outer side of the spacer acts as a supporting bearing for the lower end 38 of the flag 20. There is an upwardly opening radial notch 39 in the top of the spacer, and the periphery is reduced in thickness to the rear of the notch leaving a relatively thinned part 40 is separated from the body of the spacer by an arcuate slot 41 and permanently bent or formed outwardly from the box in a springable detent 42.

The lower end 38 of the flag has an embossed detent 43 that swings with the flag at the same radius as the springable detent 42. When the flag is in raised position the detent 43 is held in the slot 39 ahead of the spring detent 42; but to lower the flag it is only necessary to push the top of the flag rearwardly so that the detent 43 passes over detent 42 and into the space outwardly of the thinned portion 40 of the spacer. A cover 44 held by bolt 45 holds the lower end 38 of the flag snuggly against the outer face of the spacer. A bevelled edge46 on the lower end of the flag engages a rearwardly projecting stop edge 47 on the spacer as a rearward and down limit stop for a flag. The cover 44 is a recessed stamping with a tongue 48 on its lower edge that hooks into a recess in the wall of the box. A slot 49 in the top of the cover passes the leg 50 of the flag.

The flag and its mounting on the box will withstand substantial rough handling as its two limit positions are set by firmly connected solid parts, while the hold-up detents 42-43 are made to accommodate rough engaging and disengaging forces. This assures that the flag will be operative to indicate the presence of outgoing mail on shelf 28.

It is a feature of the mail box that the outer walls 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 can be economically molded of sturdy plastic and joined together by bonding of the adjacent surfaces. All of the movable and metallic parts such as the deflector shelf 23, spring 15, mail deposit door 7, cross brace 8, access door 6 and hinge 9 are then attachable through theopen front of the box by reason of the bosses molded on the walls. Arcuate ribs 71 on the end walls act as weather or parting strips and outlimit stops for the deposit door 7; and ribs 61 act as weather seals and stops for the access door 6.

What is claimed as new is:

l. A mail box comprising fixedly connected top, bottom, back and end walls,

a cross brace fixedly connected to the front edges of said end walls and extending across the front of the box above the middle of the box,

a lockable access door hinged to said box and closing the front thereof below said cross brace,

a mail deposit door extending across the upper part of the front of said box above said cross brace and pivotally supported along the upper edge of the de posit door from the box,

a mail deflector and support member extending from end to end of said box and pivotally supported between its front and rear along an axis extending parallel to said cross brace and located in spaced relation between said cross brace and said back wall,

a central web in said member normally weight biased to a downwardly and rearwardly inclined but generally upright position in said box,

an upper flange on the upper edge of said web,

a shelf part diverging downwardly and rearwardly behind said web from below said pivot axis,

first stops on said end walls engageable with the ends of said support member to'limit upward swinging of the member with the central web thereof spaced rearwardly from the rear edge of said cross brace by less than two inches,

and second stops on said end walls engageable with the ends of said support member to limit forward swinging thereof with said upper flange in generally horizontal position and overlapping relation above the rear edge of said brace,

2. A mail box as defined in claim 1 in which the ends of the web of said deflector member have rearwardly turned ears engaging pivot pins projecting inwardly from said end walls,

whereby the upper rear surface of the member is generally horizontal but in three relatively angled planes when the shelf member is engaged with said second stops.

3. A mail box as defined in claim 2 in which the walls of said box are of molded plastic,

and said first and second stops and the pivot pins for said shelf member are molded on said end walls.

4. A mail box as defined in claim 1 in which there is a rearwardly and upwardly extending flange along the rear edge of said deflector swingable in closely spaced relation to the back wall of the box.

5. A mail box as defined in claim 3 in which said top wall has bosses molded on its underside adapted to slidably receive and support a metal strip,

and an elongated leaf spring having its rear end supported in said bosses on said top wall and its front end bowed downwardly into downward and forward biasing engagement with the rear of said mail deposit door.

6. A mail box as defined in claim 3 in which said end walls have angled bosses with inwardly projecting and downwardly projecting legs molded thereon adjacent their forward edges,

said cross brace being of rearwardlyopening channel section with its upper flange supported on the inwardly projecting legs and with its front web bolted to said downwardly projecting legs.

7. A mail box as defined in claim 3 in which said end walls have first ribs molded thereon as parting strips and out-limit stops for the ends of said deposit door,

and other ribs molded thereon as parting strips and in-limit stops for the ends of said access door.

8. A mail box as defined in claim 1 in which said access door is hinged along its lower edge to said bottom wall with its upper edge closable against said cross brace,

and an elongated handle secured along the upper edge of said access door and projecting thereabove into overlapping relation with the closed position of said deposit door.

9. A mail box as defined in claim 1 in which said cross brace has a downwardly inclined flange along its upper rear edge extending in spaced relation below the forwardmost position of the upper edge of said deflector member.

10. A mail box as defined in claim 3 in which one end wall has a recess molded in its outer side adjacent its top,

a friction bushing of yieldable plastic nonrotatably received in said recess and having a hollow stud on its outer side,

a flag member having a stern rotatably received on said stud and having a locating detent opposed to said bushing,

a second detent molded integrally on said bushing and yieldable normally toward the wall of the box,

and bolt means extending through said wall and said bushing and the stem of said flag holding the stem against the bushing whereby said detents coact to yieldably hold said flag erect. 11. A mail box as defined in claim 10 in which said bushing is a cylindrical member with a projecting pin engaging the bottom of the recess in the box wall,

said second detent being defined on said bushing by a radial slot merging at its inner end with a radial slot, the outer side of the detent being of reduced thickness and having its free end angled toward the stem of said flag, 7 whereby said first detent on said flag rotates across the reduced thickness and said angled end in swinging from flag-down to flag-up positions.

' 12. A mail box as defined in claim 11 in which there is a metal cover secured over the stem of the flag by said bolt means and having flanges turned toward the end of the box forming up-limit and down-limit stops coacting with the edges of the stem.

13. A mail box as defined in claim .12 in which said cover has a lug nonrotatably received in a recess provided therefor in the wall of the box.

14. A mail box having one end wall'with a hole therethrough adjacent its top,

a generally flat friction bushing of yieldable plastic retained against said wall and around said hole and having a hollow stud on its outer side concentric with said hole,

an integral pin on said bushing nonrotatably engaging said wall eccentric to said hole and said bushing,

a flag member having a stem rotatably received on said stud and having a locating detent opposed to said bushing,

a second detent molded integrally on said bushing and yieldable normally toward the wall of the box,

bottom, back and end walls,

a cross brace fixedly connected to the front edges of said end walls and extending across the front of the box above the middle of the box,

a lockable access door hinged to said box and closing the front thereof below said cross brace,

a mail deposit door extending across the upper part of the front of said box above said cross brace and pivotally supported along the upper edge of the deposit door from the box,

a mail deflector and support-member extending from end to end of said box and pivotally supported between its front and rear along an axis extending parallel to said cross brace and located in spaced relation between said cross brace and said back wall,

the central portion of said deflector and support member extending along the axis of support of the member being weight biased to a generally upright position,

a shelf part angled downwardly and rearwardly from the central portion of said member and having an upwardly and rearwardly angled retaining flange on its rear edge,

first stops on said end walls engageable with the ends of said support member to limit upward swinging of the member with the central portion thereof spaced rearwardly from the rear edge of said cross brace,

and second stops on said end walls engageable with the ends of said support member to limit forward swinging thereof with said upper edge thereof in generally horizontal position and overlapping relation above the rear edge of said brace.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4190192 *Nov 14, 1977Feb 26, 1980Jackes-Evans Manufacturing CompanyTheft preventing outdoor mailbox
US4815656 *Jan 12, 1988Mar 28, 1989Smith David ARural mail box indicator and security lock
US4905891 *Aug 26, 1988Mar 6, 1990Wildish Gene ESecurity mailbox
US5000378 *Feb 8, 1988Mar 19, 1991Dorr Ray MIntrusion-secure mail box
US5082169 *Mar 5, 1990Jan 21, 1992Aurness Harold OTwo-door, locked mailbox
US5148974 *Dec 13, 1991Sep 22, 1992Millard ClapperSecurity mail box with improved anti-tamper means
US5337953 *Jan 10, 1993Aug 16, 1994Wilfried HaestPlastic mailbox
US5435484 *Jan 24, 1994Jul 25, 1995Carlson; Ronald G.Security mailbox
US5586718 *Feb 13, 1995Dec 24, 1996Steel City CorporationSecurity mail box lock assembly
US5850967 *Feb 26, 1998Dec 22, 1998White; J. La NellSecurity mailbox
US5938113 *Apr 8, 1998Aug 17, 1999Kim; Duk M.Mailbox with mail storage and theft prevention
US6234388Feb 22, 1999May 22, 2001Gary L. TaylorSecurity mailbox
US6318628 *May 5, 2000Nov 20, 2001Daniel Wesley PangburnSingle-door locking mailbox
US6375071Apr 10, 2000Apr 23, 2002Duk M. KimMailbox with mail storage and theft prevention
US6412688 *Apr 2, 2001Jul 2, 2002Solar Group, Inc.Secure parcel receptacle, lock assembly therefore and associated method
US6520405Sep 13, 2001Feb 18, 2003Lorenzo C. BraxterMailbox lock
US6644542Nov 30, 2000Nov 11, 2003Bobbie J. CoxEnhanced-security delivery receptacles
US6799716 *May 22, 2003Oct 5, 2004World Factory, Inc.Solar powered mailbox
US7055735 *Sep 17, 2003Jun 6, 2006Kay Jay Novelties, LlcAdaptable mailbox mounting configuration
US7100816May 20, 2004Sep 5, 2006James Douglas OffenbacherSecure mail receptacle
US7232056Nov 18, 2004Jun 19, 2007Jackson Lee ESecure mailbox
US7360680Mar 31, 2006Apr 22, 2008Charles John GrossmeyerMailbox assembly and a mailbox assembly kit
US7607569Apr 3, 2007Oct 27, 2009Jack Van RossumLocking mailbox
WO1997043935A1 *May 21, 1997Nov 27, 1997Lateo Mark HenryA mail box
Classifications
U.S. Classification232/17, 232/35, 232/27, 16/374, 16/321
International ClassificationA47G29/122, A47G29/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47G29/124, A47G29/1225
European ClassificationA47G29/124, A47G29/122S
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 17, 1995ASAssignment
Owner name: SHAWMUT CAPITAL CORPORATION, WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT & ASSUMPTION AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:BARCLAYS BUSINESS CREDIT, INC.;REEL/FRAME:007435/0277
Effective date: 19950131
Apr 26, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: BARCLAYS BUSINESS CREDIT, INC., 200 WEST MADISON S
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HAWWOR PRODUCTS, INC., A CORP. OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:005682/0705
Effective date: 19910405
Oct 29, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: HARROW PRODUCTS, INC.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:LEIGH PRODUCTS, INC;REEL/FRAME:004324/0944
Effective date: 19840905
Dec 31, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: HARROW SECURITIES, INC., A CORP. OF DE.
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:LEIGH PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:003972/0658
Effective date: 19811013
Owner name: LEIGH PRODUCTS, INC.,
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:LEIGH PRODUCTS, INC., INTO;REEL/FRAME:003972/0662
Effective date: 19790802
Owner name: HARROW SECURITIES, INC., A CORP. OF, DELAWARE
Owner name: LEIGH PRODUCTS, INC.,, MICHIGAN