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Publication numberUS3827626 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 6, 1974
Filing dateAug 14, 1972
Priority dateAug 14, 1972
Publication numberUS 3827626 A, US 3827626A, US-A-3827626, US3827626 A, US3827626A
InventorsDaigle H
Original AssigneeDaigle H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rural mailbox
US 3827626 A
Abstract
A mailbox arranged to be made conspicuous of the presence or absence of mail therein, and provided with a pivoting and blocking mechanism and with a door-actuating mechanism, both arranged into an integrated actuating assembly operated by a single handle. The latter extends horizontally to be easily accessible and operable by a mailman through an open side window of the vehicle used for mail delivery. A plunger is arranged to block the mailbox into either of at least two angular positions arranged 90 DEG apart around an upright pivot axis and linkages connect the handle to the plunger and to the door to simultaneously actuate the same.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Daigle RURAL MAILBOX [76] Inventor: Henri Daigle, County of ilslet, Saint Pamphile, Quebec, Canada 22 Filed: Aug. 14,1972

21 Appl. No.: 280,498

[52] US. Cl 232/17, 232/34, 232/38, 232/39 [51] Int. Cl 865d 91/00 [58] Field of Search 232/17, 35, 34, 38, 39

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 718,190 1/1903 Burnham 232/39 877,006 1/1908 Scobee 232/39 2,193,378 3/1940 Popp 232/39 2,194,900 3/1940 Helten 232/17 X 3,143,286 8/1964 Edge, Sr. 232/35 3,407,997 10/1968 Wood et a1. 232/39 [111 3,827,626 Aug. 6, 1974 Primary ExaminerBobby R. Gay Assistant ExaminerPeter A. Aschenbrenner [5 7] ABSTRACT dow of the vehicle used for mail delivery. A plunger is arranged to block the mailbox into either of at least two angular positions arranged 90 apart around an upright pivot axis and linkages connect the handle to the plunger and to the door to simultaneously actuate the same.

5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures I PATENTEU G BIB" RURAL MAILBOX This invention relates to a mailbox and, more particularly, to a mailbox of the rural type arranged to be installed along a road or mailmans route to enable a mailman to put mail therein through an open side window of his vehicle.

Many years ago, the rural people have adopted a now widespread custom of indicating the presence of mail in a mailbox by pointing the latter with the door facing the road and the absence of mail by turning the box parallel to the road. Due to the elongated shape of the box, such positions could easily be identified at a distance without having to approach or lock into the box.

Often, the wind or improper levelling and balancing of the box have caused the latter to become improperly orientated and trips had to be made to the box to ascertain if any mail was placed therein or to rectify the orientation thereof.

In order to make the mailboxes of more reliable and practical usage, many different concepts of mailboxes of the above type have so far been proposed to implement the functions of making the mailbox conspicuous of the presence or absence of mail therein, of allowing pivoting and blocking of the mailbox on a supporting post about an upright axis and of providing a door actuating mechanism to facilitate opening of the door of the mailbox by the mailman.

It has been noted that the mailboxes proposed so far do not give satisfactory perfonnance and are lacking in one respect or another concerning the abovementioned functions. For instance, none of the proposed mailboxes has been constructed to perform the above three functions. Also, the pivoting or swinging of the mailbox has so far been entirely dissociated from the mechanism to open the door.

It is a general object of the invention to provide a mailbox adapted to make the same conspicuous of the presence or absence of the mail therein, to allow pivoting and blocking of the same about a pivot axis thereof, and to provide a door actuating mechanism arranged to facilitate the opening of the door of the mailbox by a mailman.

It is another general object of the invention to provide a mailbox with an integrated actuating assembly adapted to produce the above three functions and having a single hand actuatable member to operate the same.

It is another general object of the invention to provide a single actuating member which can easily be operated by only one hand to perform the above three functions and arranged to leave the other hand of the mailman free for the handling of the mail.

It is a further general object of the invention to provide a mailbox with actuating mechanisms and a simple hand actuatable member arranged to be easily reached and operated by a mailman through an open side window of his vehicle used for mail delivery.

It is another object of the invention to provide a mailbox which is adapted to be positively positioned to indicate the presence or absence of mail therein in accordance with the above-mentioned custom.

It is a more specific object of the invention to provide a mailbox with a blocking mechanism arranged to block the mailbox into either one of two positions spaced 90 apart from each other and a door actuating mechanism, both mechanisms being arranged to be simultaneously operated by a single handle.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be better understood in the light of the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment illustrated, by way. of example only, in the accompanying drawings, in which:

\ FIG. 1 is a side view of a mailbox according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a partial view of FIG. 1 showing the actuating assembly in the position with the door fully open;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view as seen along line 33 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view as seen along line 4-4 in FIG. 6;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view as seen along line 5--5 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view as seen along line 6-6 in FIG. 3 showing a front elevation of the mailbox.

The illustrated mailbox includes a box 1 having the generally conventional elongated shape of a rural mailbox and defining an interior mail compartment. The box 1 includes a bottom 2 and a frame 3 forming a door opening at the front thereof. A door 4 is mounted into the door opening and is pivotally supported at its upper edge by a pin 5, or the like, engaged into the opposite sides of the frame 3 for pivotal movement of the door about a transverse axis. The bottom of the box 1 is reinforced by a frame 6 formed by welded, or otherwise interconned, metal sections and by a peripheral frame 7.

A stud 8 is fixed against the bottom surface of the frame 6 and extends endwise downwardly therefrom to form an upright pivot for the box 1. A post 9 having a tubular head section is provided to form a mailbox assembly in combination with the box I and the associated actuating assembly to be defined hereinafter. The stud 8 is arranged to pivotally engage into the hollow head section of the post 9. The latter is provided at its upper end with three radial bores 10 angularly spaced at apart from one another, as best shown in FIG. 5, for a purpose to be better understood later.

The integrated actuating assembly which more particularly characterizes the present invention will now be described in detail and essentially comprises a blocking mechanism to positively retain the box into a selected predetermined position, a door actuating mechanism arranged to open and close the door 4 of the box and a single handle 11 connected to both above-mentioned mechanisms to simultaneously actuate the same.

A sleeve 12 is fixed by a bracket 13, of any appropriate shape, to the box 1 against the frame 6 thereof and extends radially relative to the stud pivot 8 and the post 9. A plunger 14 is slidably mounted into the sleeve 12 for to and fro displacement relative to the post 9 and is arranged to engage into any hole 10 which comes into alignment with the sleeve 12. A block 15 is fixed at the end of the plunger 14, which is remote from the post 9. A return spring 16 has one end anchored to the bracket 13 and its other end anchored to the block 15 to bias the plunger 14 towards blocking engagement into any hole 10 aligned therewith.

The bottom 2 has a downwardly depending plate 7 at the front end thereof. A sleeve 18 is welded, or otherwise secured, to the plate 17 and defines a transverse pivot axis for the handle 11 engaged therein. A first crank arm 19 is fixed to the handle 11 for pivoting therewith and a pair of parallel push-pull links 20 are pivotally connected to the free end of the crank arm 19 on opposite sides thereof and to the block 15 to transmit linear to and fro displacement to the plunger 14.

On each side of the door 4 and of the box 1, a linkage system pivotally connects the handle 11 to the door 4 to transmit pivoting thereto. Each linkage system includes a second crank arm 21 fixed to the handle 11 for rotation therewith and a push-pull link 22 pivotally connected at its opposite ends to the free end of the crank arm 21 and to a transverse bar 23 fixed to the door 4 and extending sideways therefrom. A series of holes 24 is provided into the free end of each crank arm 21 to adjust the amount of opening of the door 4.

When the mailbox 1 and the associated actuating mechanisms are positioned as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 4, and 6, the plunger 14 is engaged into the intermediate hole of the three radial holes 10 and the door 4 is closed under the actions of the spring 16 and of the weight of the door. Upon insertion of the post 9 into the ground with the above intermediate hole 10 facing the road or the route of the mailman, the door 4 faces the road, and in relation to the above-mentioned custom, such position is meant to indicate that mail is present in the box 1.

Should there be no mail in the box 1, the handle 11 should be depressed, as shown in FIG. 2, to release the plunger 14 from blocking engagement into the intermediate hole 10, thereby allowing rotation of the box 1 either clockwise or anti-clockwise. The release of the handle 11 after the start of the rotation of the box 1, causes the plunger 11 to be biased against the peripheral surface of the head section of the post 9 until one of the two aligned holes 10 registers with the plunger 14. The latter is then urged into such registering hole 10 under the bias of the spring 16 for blocking of the box into a position parallel to the wall. Simultaneously, the door 4 closes. The latter position of the mailbox 1 indicates, in accordance with the above accepted custom, the absence of mail in the mailbox.

As can be seen, the pivoting of the handle 11, as shown in FIG. 2, causes both the retraction of the plunger 14 and the elevation of the door 14 towards an open position.

The handle 11 is purposely constructed and arranged to extend horizontally forwardly of the door 4 to be easily accessible to a mailman from inside his mail delivery vehicle through an open side window thereof. This is even so when the box 1 is parallel to the road, since the handle llcan be easily reached due to its open or are shape.

It must be appreciated that the sole actuation of the single handle 11 by one hand only allows opening and closing of the door 4, and blocking, unblocking and positive positioning of the mailbox into a selected angular position conspicuous of the absence or presence of mail therein.

As will be understood by any person skilled in the art, the invention is not restricted to the specific details of construction illustrated and described, but rather is extensive to all practical embodiments encompassed within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A mailbox comprising a box having a mail opening arranged to give access therein, a door constructed and arranged to close said mail opening, a door actuating mechanism operatively connected to said door and constructed and arranged to open the same, a blocking mechanism mounted onto said box and constructed and arranged to releasably block the latter against rotation relative to a support, and a hand actuatable means connected to said door actuating mechanism and to said blocking mechanism and constructed and arranged to actuate the same to simultaneously open said door and release said box to allow rotation thereof relative to said support, said door being hinged to said box for pivoting movement about a first transverse pivot axis, said door actuating mechanism including linkage means connecting said hand actuatable means to said door to cause pivoting of the latter, said hand actuatable means being a handle pivotally mounted onto said box about a second transverse pivot axis extending parallel to said first pivot axis, said linkage means including a set of levers on each side of said door, each of said sets of levers including a crank arm fixed to said handle for pivotal movement therewith and a push-pull link pivotally connected to the corresponding crank arm and to said door and arranged to transmit the pivotal movement of said handle to said door.

2. A mailbox as defined in claim 1, wherein said door is hinged to said box and arranged for pivoting movement about a first transverse pivot axis and said door actuating mechanism includes linkage means connecting said hand actuatable means to said door and arranged to cause pivoting of the latter.

3. A mailbox as defined in claim 2, wherein said hand actuatable means is a handle pivotally mounted onto said box about a second transverse pivot axis extending parallel to said first pivot axis, said linkage means includes a set of levers on each side of said door, each of said sets of levers including a crank arm fixed to said handle for pivotal movement therewith and a push-pull link pivotally connected to the corresponding crank arm and to said door and arranged to transmit the pivotal movement of said handle to said door.

4. A mailbox as defined in claim 1, wherein said handle is constructed and arranged to extend forwardly of said door when the latter is closed and to be actuatable by a mailman from a side window of his vehicle.

5. A mailbox assembly comprising, in combination, a supporting post having a tubular head section, a box having a bottom and a front open end defining a door opening giving access to a mail compartment inside said box, a door pivotally mounted into said door opening about a first transverse axis, a pivot fixed against the bottom of said box and extending endwise downwardly therefrom and arranged to extend into said tubular head section to pivotally support said box about an upright axis, said tubular head section having radial bores extending therethrough at relative one to another, a plunger slidably mounted under said bottom and arranged for engagement into any of said radial bores, a spring connected to said box and to said plunger and arranged to bias the latter towards engagement into any bore in radial alignment therewith, whereby to allow selective angular positioning of said box, a handle pivotally attached to said box about a second transverse axis under said bottom and adjacent said front open end, a lever fixed to said handle for pivotal movement therewith, a first push-pull link connecting said lever to said plunger and arranged to transmit linear displaceof said handle thereto, and said handle being shaped to ment thereto a crank arm arranged on feach side Said extend forwardly relative to said door when the latter box and fixed to sa1d handle for rotation therewith, a

pair of second push-pull links respectively connecting is in the closed position said crank arms to said door to transmit pivotal motion 5

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US718190 *Apr 22, 1902Jan 13, 1903Lute B LibbyMail-box.
US877006 *Apr 22, 1907Jan 21, 1908John Morgan ScobeeMail-box.
US2193378 *May 9, 1939Mar 12, 1940Edward PoppMail box
US2194900 *Jun 29, 1937Mar 26, 1940Helten Nick CCombination mailbox and parcel post carrier
US3143286 *Apr 10, 1962Aug 4, 1964Emory ByrdAutomatic mailbox door actuating means and signal
US3407997 *Nov 22, 1966Oct 29, 1968Clyde M. WoodRotatable mail box
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4508259 *Mar 14, 1983Apr 2, 1985Hicks Robert RVariable access parcel and mail receptacle
US4667918 *Jul 2, 1985May 26, 1987Robert PageRotatable mailbox pedestal
US4869426 *Apr 25, 1988Sep 26, 1989Elwood PowersDevice for improving accessibility
US4901913 *Jul 11, 1989Feb 20, 1990Fischer Glenn NDamage-resistant mailbox
US6543680Oct 30, 2001Apr 8, 2003Mccormack Robert D.Mailbox extension mount
US6659484 *Mar 8, 2001Dec 9, 2003Daniel W. KnodleStowable steps
US7032811 *Jan 14, 2005Apr 25, 2006Kenneth PaulicRotatable mailbox with flexible support
US7172163Sep 29, 2004Feb 6, 2007Johnson Dan FMailbox holder
US7204501Feb 10, 2005Apr 17, 2007Gary BangUniversal stowable step
US7252221Sep 30, 2005Aug 7, 2007Euroasia Products, Inc.Mailbox door restraint
US7527190Apr 11, 2007May 5, 2009Euroasia Products Inc.Weather barrier mailbox
US20050146112 *Feb 10, 2005Jul 7, 2005Gary BangUniversal stowable step
US20090001152 *Jul 2, 2007Jan 1, 2009Euroasia Products, Inc.Mailbox Door Restraint
Classifications
U.S. Classification232/17, 232/38, 232/39, 232/34
International ClassificationA47G29/00, A47G29/122
Cooperative ClassificationA47G29/1209
European ClassificationA47G29/12R