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Publication numberUS720871 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 17, 1903
Filing dateOct 10, 1902
Priority dateOct 10, 1902
Publication numberUS 720871 A, US 720871A, US-A-720871, US720871 A, US720871A
InventorsErnest D Allen, William A Mcelney
Original AssigneeHarry Hopkinson, Ernest D Allen, William A Mcelney
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Indicator for toilet-rooms.
US 720871 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

No. 720,871. PATENTED 31:13.17, 1903. E. D. ALLEN & w. A. MuELNEY. INDICATOR FOR TOILET ROOMS.


- 'l/V VEN TUHJ $7263 myvzmsvl. PATENTBD FEB. 17, 1903.








sPEGIFICATIoN forming part of Letters Patent No. 720,871, dated February 17, 1903.

Application filed October 10,1902. Serial No. 126,695. (No model.)

To all wit-07% it may concern: Be it known that we, ERNEST D. ALLEN and WILLIAM A. MCELNEY, citizens of the United States, and residents of Meriden, in

the county of New Haven and State of Connecticut, have invented a new and Improved Indicator for Toilet-Rooms, of which the following is a full, clear, and exact description. Our invention relates to improvements in [O toilet-roomindicators; and one-object that we have in view is the provision of a simple and eihcient construction which shall be positive in operation and easily applied to existing structures.

A further object that we have in view is the provision of means which shall be entirely automatic in operation, so that the entrance into and the presence of a person in the toiletroom will be indicated clearly and unmiszo takably; but when the room is vacated this fact will be shown in like manner, thus avoiding mistake and confusion.

The device of our invention is especially adapted for use on the toilet-rooms of rail- 2 5 way-cars to indicate to the passengers the occupancy or vacancy of the toilet-room; but it may also be used advantageously on toiletrooms of houses, buildings, and generally in other places.

The improved indicator may be applied to a side wall of a toilet-room or to the door, and

it can be used on doors which swing inwardly.

or outwardly and also in connection with fulllength or with half doors.

The further objects and advantages of the invention will appear in the course of the subjoined description, and the novelty will be defined by theannexed claims.

Reference is to be had to the accompanying the plane indicated by the irregular line 4 4: of Fig. 2; and Figs. 5 and 6 are views in sectional elevation and in perspective, respectively, illustrating other forms of construction contemplated by this invention.

In Figs. 1 to 4, inclusive, 5 designates a toilet-room having a door (not shown) arranged to swing inwardly or outwardly. On the wall 6 ofthis room is rigidly secured a casing 7, which may be of any suitable construction, although we prefer to use the casing shown by Figs. 2, 3, and 4, in which the front plate 8 is provided with asuitable inscription, as shown. This front plate 8 of the casing is provided with an observation-slot 9, and within said casing is arranged a horizontal indicator-cylinder 10. Said cylinder is preferably square in crCss-sectiomand on one face of said cylinder is produced the word Vacant, (see Fig. 2,) while another face of the cylinder is inscribed with the word Occupied. (See Fig.3.) The cylinder is provided at its ends with trunnions 11, which are loosely mounted in suitable bearing-plates 12, the latter being secured within the casing, whereby the cylinder is adapted to rock or turn in order to display one or the other of the inscriptions on its faces. The indicatorcylinder is arranged within the casing directly in the rear of or in alinement with the slot 9, and at one corner of this cylinder is provided a lug or car 18, to which is pivoted, as at 14, a link 15, the latter passing freely through a slot 16, which is provided in the wall 6, opposite the casing 7. The inner end of this link is pivoted at 17 to the upper end pf a lever 18, said lever being fulcrnmed intermediate of its length, as at 19, to a bracket or arm 20, the same being fixed to the wall 6 at a suitable distance below the casing and within the room 5.

The lower end of the lever 18 is bent or curved to provide a foot 21, and against the other part of the lever acts a spring 22, the latter serving to normally pull the lever 18 5 toward the casing and to hold the cylinder 10 in a position to display the word Vacant in the rear of the observation-slot 9.

E, 23 designates a false floor, which is movable and arranged in a position above the permanent floor 5 of the room. One edge of the false floor rests upon a sill 24, While the free end of said false floor is maintained in a raised position by a spring 25. This false floor is connected operatively with a seat 26 by a link 27, and the free edge of said fioor engages with the curved foot 21 of the lever 18, whereby the depression of the floor 23 moves the lever 18 to the dotted position shown by Fig. 1 and draws on the link 15 in a way to turn the cylinder on its axis, thus displaying the word Occupied in the rear of the observation-slot.

In the construction shown by Fig. 5 the same general features are retained, but the floor 23 is provided with an upstanding arm 28, and the lower end of the lever 18 is curved in an opposite direction to provide the foot 29, which engages with the arm 28. This form of construction is especially adapted for use in connection with inwardlyswinging doors 30, adapted to carry the indicator device, as shown by Fig. 5. It will be understood that the indicator and the lever, are carried by the door, and when the door moves inwardly the foot 29 of the lever 18 is withdrawn from engagement with the arm 28 on the false floor. W'hen closing the door, however, the 1ever again engages with the arm, and the curved end of said arm 28 impinges the foot of the lever 18, so as to move it against the tension of the spring 32, and thereby change the position of the indicator-cylinder.

In Fig. 6 the indicator is mounted on a halflength door 31; but the lever is not connected directly by a link with the indicator-cylinder. In this construction the inner end of the link is connected to a supplemental lever 32, which is fulcrumed on a bracket 33, attached to the inside of the door. When the door is one which swings inwardly, the lever 32 is made sufficiently long to extend beyond the door-jamb, and this end of the lever is arranged to bear on the upper end of a vertical lever 18, the latter being fulcrumed to a short arm 20 and having a curved foot 21 to engage with the free edge of the movable false floor. If the indicator is mounted on a half-door which swings outwardly, the upper end of the lever 18 should be bent laterally beyond the jamb and the lever 32 should be shortened, so as to swing past the jamb, and should engage with the bent end of said lever 18.

Having thus described our invention, we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent 1. In a device of the class described, the combination with a casing having an observation-slot, of an oscillating indicator pivotally supported within said casing in rear of the slot therein and having inscriptions on its faces to be brought alternately in alinement with the slot, and a lever connected operatively with said indicator and arranged to rock to turn the same on its pivotal support.

2. In a device of the class described, the combination of a casing having an observation-slot,an oscillatory indicator-cylinder pivoted centrally within the casing in rear of the slot therein, a lever, a link pivoted to the indicator-cylinder eccentrically to the axis of oscillation thereof and connected to said lever.

3. In a device of the class described, the combination with a movable floor, an oscillatory indicator having suitable inscriptions, an upright 1ever fulcrumed at a point intermediate of its height and provided with a cam-shaped foot, a link connecting the upper part of the lever to said indicator, and means actuated by the movement of the floor to vibrate the lever.

In testimony whereof we have signed our names to this specification in the presence of two subscribing witnesses.




Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7571694 *Mar 16, 2007Aug 11, 2009Rick BoernerOccupancy indication device and method
US9299270Apr 12, 2013Mar 29, 2016Steven MaresDoor vacancy indicator
US20080224858 *Mar 16, 2007Sep 18, 2008Rick BoernerOccupancy Indication Device & Method
Cooperative ClassificationG09F7/00, Y10S40/907