US 3866961 A
A recessed handleless locking mechanism for a storage locker is provided wherein a pan extends rearwardly from the surface of the locker door and includes an opening in one of its sides through which an unlatching force can be directed on a moveable bracket covering said opening in order to unlatch an internal latching mechanism.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 List [ 1 3,866,961 Feb. l8, 1975 RECESSED LOCKING MECHANISM ['75] Inventor: Herbert A. List, Flossmoor, I11.
 Assignee: List Industries, Incorporated, Harvey, I11.
[221 Filed: Sept. 4, 1973  Appl. No: 394,296
I52] U.S. CI 292/3363, 70/79, 292/148, 292/010. 68
51 int. Cl E05b 65/44  Field of Search 70/78, 79, s0, s1, s2; 292/DIG. 68, 148, 336.3
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,825,219 3/1958 Marziilier 70/146 2,912,271 11/1959 Schaefer 292/3363 3,742,742 7/1973 F oote 70/78 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 990,766 4/1965 Great Britain 292/D1G. 68
Primary Examiner-Albert G. Craig, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Charles M. Chadd  ABSTRACT A recessed handleless locking mechanism for a storage locker is provided wherein a pan extends rearwardly from the surface of the locker door and includes an opening in one of its sides through which an unlatching force can be directed on a moveable bracket covering said opening in order to unlatch an internal latching mechanism.
5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures RECESSED LOCKING MECHANISM BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE IN- VENTION This invention relates to storage lockers and has particular applicability in those types of lockers commonly used in gym locker rooms, industrial plant locker rooms, school corridors and the like. These lockers allow people to store their possessions while participating in school, work or other activities; for example, gym lockers are used in school or club athletic facilities and allow the user to store his street clothes and other possessions while he is participating in athletic events.
In order to protect the possessions of the user, the locker must provide a locking mechanism. The locking mechanisms in common use include a normally moveable protruding door handle which can be fixed in a locking position. Locking is accomplished by a mechanism which restricts the movement of the handle; for example, a hasp can be provided in the handle to receive a padlock. When the locker door is not locked, it can be opened by grabbing the handle and either twisting or lifting it to release a door latch.
Locker room theft is a serious problem. Therefore it is necessary to provide a locking mechanism that cannot be easily jimmied or forced open from its locked position. The aforementioned locking mechanisms do not provide adequate protection against jimmying because the protruding door handles can be securely gripped and forced to move far enough to unlatch the locker door even when they are supposedly locked in a fixed position.
The aforementioned locking mechanisms are also a safety hazard. The protrusion of the handle and lock receiving components from the surface of the locker door can be dangerous to those people moving in close proximity to the locker. This is a particular problem in school locker rooms or any other areas which tend to have a good deal of rough-housing and fighting. The somewhat sharp object can cause serious injury to a person thrown against the locker.
In accordance with the present invention, a storage locker locking mechanism is provided which overcomes the deficiencies of the aforementioned conventional constructions. This locking mechanism is contained within a recessed pan and does not have any parts protruding from the surface of the locker. Furthermore, the lock used in conjunction with the recessed locking mechanism also will not protrude from the surface of the locker. It, therefore, eliminates the safety hazard.
Furthermore, the locking mechanism of the present invention does not have a handle which can be gripped to force a locked door open; The door latch release is flush with the top of the pan and is operated by upward pressure exerted by the fingers. This has the substantial advantage of not providing a member which can be gripped by hand or tool in order to force the door latch open. The relatively short height of the recessed pan makes it extremely difficult to use a tool to provide the necessary upward force to release the door latch while the mechanism is locked.
Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and claims and are illustrated in the accompanying drawings which show structure embodying preferred features of the present invention and the principles thereof, and what is now considered to be the best mode in which to apply these principles. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings forming a part of the DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the storage locker embodiment shown generally in FIG. I, locker unit 10 includes a side hinged door 11. The door 11 is locked into a fixed position by attaching a padlock or other lock 12 to the recessed locking mechanism shown generally at 13.
FIG. 2 discloses the recessed lock mechanism in greater detail. The mechanism consists of three basic components: recessed pan l3, lock bracket 14 and lock channel 15.
Recessed pan 13 is a relatively short and shallow member that is rectangular in cross-section. The pan extends rearwardly from the surface of the door and has its open front portion in the plane of the surface of the'locker door 11. Included within recessed pan 13 is a fixed hasp 16 located at or near the top of the pan in-' cluding an opening 17 for receiving the shackle of a padlock. Projecting upwardly from the pan and behind the locker door is track guide member 18. A rectangular opening 19 is located in the top of the recessed pan 13.
The lock bracket 14 includes a top 20, back plate 21 and side plate 22, all at about right angles to each other, and is constructed to mate with recessed pan 13 when slot 23 is slipped over projecting guide track 18. Hasp 25 including an opening 26 is located on bracket l4 and projects through opening 19. When the bracket is in its lowermost position the openings 17 and 26 are on about the same axis so that the shackle of a padlock can be slipped through both openings. The bracket top 20 covers the opening 19 in the pan l3 and upward pressure on the bracket 14 through the opening in the pan will cause it to ride up on'track l8.
Flange 24 projects rearwardly from back plate 21 and contains a slot for operative attachment to lock channel 15. Lock channel 15 is an elongated member that moves up and down in a track in locker door 11. Any upward pressure on lock bracket 14 causes lock channel 15 to move up within the track in the door in order to engage and disengage latch mechanism 27 from its locking position with the locker door.
In order to open the door 11, the user simply places his fingers on that part of the bracket 14 covering the hole 19 in the recessed pan. The upward force of his fingers on the bracket will act to disengage the latch mechanism 25 and allow the door to open.
Of course, when a padlock is slipped through openings l7 and 26, the bracket 14 is fixed in place and will resist any movement from a force exerted through opening 19 in pan l3 and therefore will fix the door ina locked position.
An alternative embodiment of the present invention would substitute a built-in combination lock within the recessed pan for a removable padlock. FIG. 3 discloses the recessed pan of such a structure. In this embodiment built-in locking means 28 within recessed pan 29 locks a movable bracket as shown in FIG. 2 in place when the combination is in its locking position. When the lock is in its unlocked position the movable bracket is free to move on outward projecting guide 30 and the locker door can be opened as earlier described.
Thus, while the preferred constructional features of the invention are embodied in the structure illustrated herein, it is to be understood that changes and variations may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope ofthe appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a storage locker, a locking mechanism operable to latch and unlatch the locker doorcomprising:
a pan extending rearwardly from the surface of the door and having its open front portion in the plane of the surface of said locker door, said pan including an opening in one of its sides:
guide means projecting outwardly from a location adjacent to said opening;
a bracket covering said opening and movable on said guide means by a force directed through said open- 4- ing wherein said opening is of sufficient size so that said force can be generated directly on said bracket by the fingers of a hand;
latching means responsive to the movement of said bracket; and
lockingmeans located within the recessed portion of said pan capable by itself or in combination with a removable lock of fixing said bracket in a locked position.
2. A locking mechanism as in claim 1 wherein said opening is located in the top side of said pan.
3. A locking mechanism as in claim 2 wherein said guide means is a thin rectangular member projecting upwardly from said top side of said pan.
4. A locking mechanism as in claim 3 wherein said bracket includes a slot adapted to fit on said rectangular member so that said bracket is movable vertically on said rectangular member.
5. A locking member as in claim 1 whereinsaid locking means includes a stationary hasp affixed within said recessed pan and a movable hasp affixed' to said bracket, said hasps presenting a through lock receiving opening. 7