US 3834612 A
A compartment has a door with integral ears spaced apart and projecting from one edge of the door and substantially flush with the outer face of the door, there being a mounting bar extending between the ears and having an outer face flush with the door outer face; a hinge pin extending from each end of the mounting bar into the adjacent door ear; and elements, accessible only from the rear of the door, for securing the mounting bar to a frame closely surrounding the door and flush with its outer face. In a preferred form of the invention the mounting bar includes a flange which normally projects inwardly from the rear face of the door when the door is closed and is secured to the frame by screws or other elements accessible when the door is opened but concealed by the door when closed.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Ullitfld States Patent 1191 1111 3,834,612 Bixhy Sept. 10, 1974 [5 COMPARTMENT DOOR STRUCTURE 3,077,630 2/1963 Lipman 16/128 R 3,261,029 7/1966 Benere, Jr 16/171  Inventor- Wlllard Blxby Steelevllle, 3,318,362 5/1967 Joyce 16/128 R x  Assignee: American Device Manufacturing Company, Steeleville, 111. Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Assistant ExaminerPeter A. Aschenbrenner  Flled' 1971 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Bedell and Burgess  Appl. No.: 173,034
Related US. Application Data  ABSTRACT Continuation-impart 0f 31, A compartment has a door with integral ears spaced 1969 abandonedapart and projecting from one edge of the door and substantially flush with the outer face of the door,  U.S. Cl 232/25, 16/171, 16/149, there beingva mounting bar extending between h 16/191 ears and having an outer face flush with the door  Int. Cl. B6511 91/00 outer face; a hinge pin extending from each end of the  Field of Search 49/397, 384, 381, 388, mounting bar into the adjacent door and 49/398; 232/191 25; 16/128 R1 ments, accessible only from the rear of the door, for
171, 191, 135 securing the mounting bar to a frame closely surrounding the door and flush with its outer face. In a  References cued preferred form of the invention the mounting bar in- UNITED STATES PATENTS cludes a flange which normally projects inwardly from 1,105,666 3/1914 the rear face of the door when the door is closed and 1,377,449 5/1921 is secured to the frame by screws or other elements 1,607,897 11/1926 accessible when the door is opened but concealed by 1.64 5 2/ the door when closed. 5332323 48;? The invention contemplates the mounting of a plurality of doors, as described above, in a common 2,136,729 11/1938 2 1 43 5 5 7 1939 frame which is hinged at one side to a cabinet or wall 2,571,070 10/1951 so as to swing on its hinge as a unit with all of the 2,614,021 10/1952 doors having their outer faces flush with the common 2,791,681 5/1957 flan- 2,903,735 9/1959 3,065,496 11/1962 11 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures 1 I 1 1 z 1 l ll/t 7 1 ,1 62/291 o/zaw 1 I l 1 P l T 1 1 /5- T I 1 L 11M li 3 I i 4; :2 747 1616 4 a 1 L n Q 2;: if 11 1 ,Q 4 1 29 I 1 4 15. I '1: 9 1 1 g L 1,
PAIENTEH SEP 1 01974 sum 1 or 2 COMPARTMENT DOOR STRUCTURE The present application is a continuation-in-part of a copending application filed Oct. 31, 1969, Ser. No. 873,031, now abandoned.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The compartment door and associated structure is particularly adapted for a battery of individual boxes such as are mounted in the lobby wall of an apartment building, an office, a hospital, a school dormitory or the like, for receiving mail or other material for a plurality of users. The boxes are equipped with individual locks and have hidden hinges inaccessible from the front of the structure to prevent removal of the doors and access to the boxes by unauthorized persons. The structure may be of either the front loading or rear loading type. If the installation is of the front loading type, the doors may be mounted in a common frame hinged at one side to a wall or a cabinet and swinging to expose all the compartments. Such a frame will have a lock to the wall to facilitate insertion of mail, etc. in all the boxes at one time when the frame is swung open. If the installation is of the rear loading type, a large swinging panel may be used at the rear "of the compartments, or they may be left open to a restricted area, for insertion of mail or other material.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation of an installation embodying five mailboxes or like compartments with individual front doors mounted in a common grid or frame for all the doors and hinged at one side to a cabinet or like structure.
FIG. 2 is a detail vertical section on line 22 of FIG. 1 and on a larger scale.
FIG. 3 is a horizontal section on line 33 of FIG. 1, drawn to a larger scale and showing in full lines two individual doors and common frame in boxclosing position; and in broken lines showing one door opened to remove contents of a single box and the common frame in open position for loading material in a plurality of the boxes.
FIGS. 4 and 5 are detail horizontal sections on lines 44 and 55 of FIG. 1 and on a larger scale.
FIG. 6 is a horizontal section similar to FIG. 3 but illustrating another form of the invention.
FIG. 7 is a similar section of the door mounting as shown in FIG. 6 but with the door swung to an open position.
FIG. 8 is an isometric, exploded view of the mounting bar and an adjacent portion of the door shown in FIGS. 1-5.
FIG. 9 is a similar view of the corresponding elements shown in FIGS. 6 and 7.
FIG. 1 shows a plurality of flush doors identified as l, 2, 3, 4 and 5, all mounted in a common frame 9 having intersecting ribs or subframe members 10 and 11 forming a rectangular grid. Frame 9 has a hinge 12 at one side secured to the outer face of a double wall 13 of a cabinet which ordinarily will be received in an opening in a building wall and attached to a building wall. Other walls of the cabinet forming portions of compartments are indicated at 13a.
Preferably, each door is formed by a rigid plate of metal having a flat outer or front face, although it may be ornamented in bas relief, by paint, by machined striation or otherwise. Each door body is substantially rectangular except that it has integral upper and lower ears 14 projecting from a side edge of the door and spaced apart vertically and, with the remainder of the door edge, forming an elongated recess between ears 14.
A correspondingly elongated hinge bar 16 of rectangular cross section is receivedin each recess with a first side surface 18 thereof engaged with the outer face of the frame, and a second side surface normally opposing the inner side of the recess and with its ends facing opposing surfaces of ears 14. Vertical hinge pins 15 centered on the hinge bar extends therefrom into each ear 14. Preferably, each hinge bar 16 has a longitudinal shoulder 19 (FIGS. 4, 8) which abuts the opposing inner edge of the door, when the door is closed, and closes the inner end of a slight gap G between the door and the hinge bar which permits the door edge to swing past the adjacent outer corner of the hinge bar to the open position shown in dotted lines 7a. The shoulder is defined by a pair of laterally offset, parallel surfaces 16A and 168 on the second side surface of the bar. Each hinge bar 16 is securely attached to one of ribs 10 by screws 17 (FIG. 4) inserted from the rear face of frame 9 extending transversely thereof and accessible only from the rear of frame element 10. The inner face of each car 14 is relieved at 20 (FIG. 5) to accommodate the angular movement of the door without interfering with the adjacent comer of a grid element 10.
When the door is closed the front faces of the doors, including ears 14, and the hinge bars 16 are flush with each other and form a substantially continuous flat surface except for the slight gaps G which are effectively closed at their inner ends by hinge bar shoulders 19.
Each door is provided with an individual lock, as indicated at 25, including a bolt 26 which may be withdrawn from a striker on the frame by turning a key or by a combination lock mechanism. Locks '25 are secured by screws 28 threaded into hardened steel inserts 29 seated in the door body and flush with the outer face of the door.
Frame 9, or a cabinet including the frame, may be set in a building wall recess or like structure.
To mount or replace one of the doors described above necessitates access to the heads of screws 17 irrespective of whether the door is open or closed. Access to these screw heads may be blocked by a cabinet or wall element 13, 13a making it necessary to dismantle the structure to replace a door. FIGS. 6 and 7 of the drawings illustrate a modified structure in which the hinge bar 30 retains the portion of square cross section fitting in the recess between door ears 31 but also includes a flange 32 projecting rearwardly of the door. The flange and the opposing grid element 34 are apertured to receive screws 33 for attaching the hinge bar to the grid, or to a compartment wall. The screws 33 parallel the plane of the closed door 37. When the door is open the screw heads are readily accessible to a screw driver S. When the door is closed, a small portion 35 of flange 32 abuts the bottom 36 of the recess and blocks the insertion of a prying tool inwardly of the door.
The individual door closures with blind hinge bars and pins may be combined with individual compartments irrespective of the common frame feature, and the exclusive use of such modification and others coming within the scope of the claims is contemplated.
1. A tamper-proof door, comprising a substantially rectangular frame having an inner marginal surface defining a central opening and having an outer face, said door mounted in said opening to close the opening and comprising a substantially flat, rectangular plate having inner and outer faces and opposite side edges, said outer face of the door substantially coplanar with the outer face of the frame, a pair of spaced apart mounting ears on one side edge of the door projecting laterally therefrom substantially flush with the outer face of the door and defining an elongate recess therebetween, an elongate hinge bar received in said recess and extending throughout the length of the recess, said hinge bar having opposite ends contiguous with said ears, pivot pins extending from said opposite ends into said ears to pivotally mount said door to said hinge bar, fastening means extended into said hinge bar and frame to secure said door and hinge bar as a unit to said frame,
said hinge bar having a first side surface thereof engaged with the outer face of the frame and having an outer face thereof flush with the outer face of the door, a second side surface of said hinge bar in opposed, contiguous relationship to said one side edge of said door and including first and second, parallel, laterally offset surfaces extending the length of the hinge bar, with one of said offset surfaces substantially flush with the inner marginal surface of the frame and engaged with said one side edge of said door and the other offset surface spaced from the said side edge of the door, to thus prevent access to said fastening means when said door is closed to preclude unauthorized removal of said door and at the same time providing clearance between said door and said hinge bar to enable said door to be opened.
2. A tamper-proof door as in claim 1, wherein said hinge bar is substantially square in transverse cross section, and said fastening means extends forwardly through said frame from a rear surface thereof into said hinge bar.
3. A tamper-proof door as in claim 1, wherein said hinge bar includes a portion with a generally square transverse cross sectional shape and a flange projecting rearwardly from said first side surface thereof, said flange received in a complementary recess in the inner marginal surface of the frame, and said fastening means extended through said flange and into said frame.
4. A tamper-proof door as in claim 1, wherein a key operated lock means is secured on the inner face of the door and includes a bolt 26 rearwardly of the door at the side edge thereof opposite said one side edge thereof.
5. A tamper-proof door in claim 1, wherein said frame circumscribes a receptacle subdivided into a plurality of box-like compartments for receiving mail and the like, a plurality of elongate subframe members extending between opposite sides of said frame and defining a plurality of openings each in registry with a respective one of said compartments, and a door and associated hinge bar is mounted to said subframe members in each opening to close each said opening and its associated compartment.
6. A tamper-proof door as in claim 5, wherein said hinge bar is substantially square in transverse cross section, and said fastening means extends forwardly through said frame from a rear surface thereof into said hinge bar.
7. A tamper-proof door as in claim 5, wherein said hinge bar includes a portion with a generally square transverse cross sectional shape and a flange projecting rearwardly from said first side surface thereof, said flange received in a complementary recess in the inner marginal surface of the frame, and said fastening means extended through said flange and into said frame.
8. A tamper-proof door as in claim 6, wherein said fastening means comprise screws.
9. A tamper-proof door as in claim 7, wherein said fastening means comprise screws.
10. A tamper-proof door as in claim 5, wherein the frame, subframe elements, and doors are pivotally movable as a unit about one side edge of said frame to simultaneously expose all of said compartments.
1 1. A tamper-proof door as in claim 10, wherein each compartment comprises walls perpindicular to the plane of the frame, said walls having front edge surfaces which abut the subframe members when the frame, subframe members and doors carried thereby are pivoted into closed position over said compartments.