US 817186 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
PATENTED APR. 10, 1906.
G. A. OWEN.
APPLICATION FILED JAN. 20, 1905.
4 SHBETS-SHEET 1 PATENTED APR. 10, 1906.
G. A. OWEN. MAILING BOX.
APPLIOATION FILED JAN. 20, 1905.
4 SHEETS-SHEET 2.
PATENTED APR. 10, 1906.
G. A. OWEN.
APPLICATION FILED JAN. 20, 1905.
4 SHEETS-SHEET 3 PATENTED APR. 10. 1906.
G. A. OWEN.
APPLICATION FILED JAN. 20. 1905.
4 snsn'rs-snnm 4.
UNITED sTATEs PATENT oFFIoE.
Specification of Letters Patent.
Patented April 10, 1906.
Application filed January 20,1905. Serial No. 242,021.
To ctZZ whom it may concern:
Be i tknown that I, GEORGE ALFRED OWEN, a citizen of the United States of America, and a resident of Springfield, in the county of Hampden and State of Massachusetts, have invented certain new and useful Improve ments in Mailing-Boxes, of which the following isa full, clear, and exact description.
The object of this invention is to provide a letter-box for the posting or reception of mail-matter to be collected at regular intervals by letter-carriers and taken by them to the mail-distributing department of a postoffice, and more particularly to provide in connection with such a letter-box an eflicient automatic dating and stamp-canceling mech anism contained therein, whereby a person desiring to expedite the transmission of a letter from the letter-box to the delivery-department of a post-oifice, if for local delivcry, or to a railroad-station or to a steamship, if for delivery at a distance, mails or posts his letters one at a time in the letterslot in a proper position relatively to that of the stamp thereon, (indicated by certain directions on the letter-box adjacent the letter receiving slot,) and in so doing automatically operates mechanism in the letter-box which cancels the stamp and affixes the date and postmark, thus avoiding the detention of letters in the post-oflice necessary for the aflixing of these marks, and thereby hastening the conveying of such prepared mail.
A further important provision in this letter-box in connection with the dating and canceling devices is the instalment therein of an electric signaling device whereby on the opening of the letter-box access to an electric annunciator connecting with the post-office permits the carrier to report the exact time of his visits to the said box, and as a further check on his movements a timeclock in the possession of the carrier may be operated by a dial-puncturing key that is kept chained or otherwise secured in the letter-box and is accessible to him only on the unlocking of the letter-box, whereby a mechanically-recorded report of the time of visits to the letter-box is made. These lastmentioned devices are rendered desirable in connection with the dating, postmarking, and stamp-canceling of letters by the sender, as the letter-carriers may thereby be held re sponsible for any lack of celerity in the transferring of letters from a letter-box to the post-office and thence to their destination,
Another object of this invention is to provide a more convenient and secure door lation of two padlocks and chains such as commonly provided.
Other objects which I have attained in thisinvention are the convenient and eflicient constructions of the various parts and instrumentalities combined in the dating and canceling mechanism, whereby in the daily setting and adjustment of parts in connection therewith easy access is provided.
A convenient and novel construction of a r swinging lid for the bulk-mail compartment is among the minor objects attained.
In the accompanying four sheets of drawings, Figure 1 is a perspective view showing the external appearance of a letter-box embodying my invention as in use. Fig. 2 is a vertical section through the entire letter-box, taken on line 2 2, Fig. 1. vertical section taken on a plane at right angles to that of Fig. 2, the line on which it is taken being shown by lines 3 3 in Figs. 2 and 4. Fig. 4 is a partial section similar to Fig. 2. Fig. 5 is a plan view of a removable portion of the letter-box in which is embodied the postmarking or printing parts of my invention. mailing-slot lid and a swinging plate or carrier coacting therewith. Figs. 7 and 8 are views illustrative of certain parts of a mailslotway and lid therefor to be hereinafter re ferred to. Fig. 9 is a perspective view of the dating-stamp wheel comprised as a part of the postmarking device.
Similar characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in all of the views.
In the drawings, A is the letter-box casing, comprising sides B and B and ends C and C, in which are formed the various openin s for doors and the letter and package or ulkmail slots, together with a bottom plate D and a curved roof portion E.
A supporting post or pedestal F, on which the letter-box may rest, is shown in Figs. 1 and 2; but any means for attaching the let- .ter-box to the side of a building or to an elec Fig. 3 is a partial Fig. 6 is a perspective view of the Ice trio-light or other post or pole whenever available may be employed.
The interior of the letter-box casing A is divided into two compartments by a partition G, an upper or letter compartment G, and a lower or bulk-mail compartment H. About midway of the height of the lettercompartment G in the side B thereof is formed the diagonally-extending letter-slot I. (See Fig. 1 and in dotted lines in Fig. 2.) The interior portion of the front side B has formed thereon just below the letter-slot I and extending parallel therewith a hook-like rib J, which supports by a locking enga ement therewith the rib i of the angularl shaped casing K, the upper or roof portion of which forms a letter-slide k, which closely adjoins the lower edge of letter-slot I and has formed on either end thereof upstanding flanges S S. (See Figs. 4 and 5.) The lower angularly-extending side is of casing K terminates in a vertical and depending flange portion M, which is held tightly to side B of casing A by a thumb-screwf. In Figs. 3 and 4 of the drawings, to which reference will now be made, this angular shaped and diagonally-attached casing K is represented for the sake of simplicity and clearness in the pro jection as being in a vertical position-that is, the casing A is assumed to be tilted at such an angle as to bring the letter-slot 1 into a horizontal position, the true position of these parts with the letter-box in its normal or verpvical position for use being clearly shown in Near the lower edge and near one end of the letter-slide is, formed in relief thereon, is a ostmark L of the usual style with the name of the locality and the year-date, and arranged in a circle inside of this circular pcstmark and extending up through an aperture Z therein is so much of the periphery of a datewheel M as contains the month and calendar date thereof. Adjacent the postmark L, also on part 76, is the usual cancel-mark L, also in relief.
The date-wheel M is fixed on a shaft m, which extends parallel with the letter-slide K and has bearings in the end walls N N of casing K. The end of the shaft m near the end wall N is provided with a knurled knob m, and the opposite end of said shaft has secured thereto the spacing notch-wheel O, which is engaged by the springdetent 0. (See Figs. 3 and 9.) Supported in said end walls N N and extending parallel with shaft m are two shafts n n, arranged one above the other, and at a point on these shafts opposite the date-wheel M are the spools n n, on which are wound the end portions of an inkribbon P, the intermediate portion of which passes up through slots 1) p in letter-slide 7c and extends across the post-mark L and cancel-mark L and provides an adequate inking means therefor.
Formed on side B of casing A somewhat above and at either side of letter-slot I are two bearing-lugs 2 2, and pivotally supported or hinged thereto at 2 is a swinging plate 3, (which is here shown as of the same size as letter slide is, but obviously may be of smaller dimensions which rests normally in an inclined plane parallel with said letterslide. On the under side of this swinging plate 3 at a point adjacent the center of postmark L is a downwardly-extending tubular bearing-lug 4, in which a plunger-rod 5, having a platen or head 6 on its lower end, is slidably fitted. A spring 7, surrounding this plunger-rod 5, bears against ahead 8 on the upper end of said plunger-rod and maintains the same at a point slightly above the upper surface of swinging plate 3 and maintains the platen 6 normally at a slight distance above letter-slide 7c. Spring 7 also holds in a slightlyraised position the head 9 of a hammer 10. This hammer 10 is pivotally supported at 12 to an upstanding lug 13 on the upper side of swinging plate 3, and an extended portion 14 of said hammer 10 is adapted to engage a stout spring abutment 15, which is rigidly secured to casing A, on an upward movement of said swinging plate 3 and to raise by this engagement with spring 15 the hammer-head 9. (See dotted position x in Fig. 3.) The part 14 of hammer 10 contacts with sprin 15 immediately following a slight raising 0 plate 3 and raises the hammer-head, as described, and a further raising of plate 3 is compensated for by the yielding of the spring 15. Coincident with the raising of hammer 10, as just described, a pivoted angular lever 16 engages by its hook end 17 a hook 18 on a hub-like portion of hammer 10, thereby holding the hammer 1O raised.
Referring to Figs. 3 and 4 of the drawings, a sector-gear 20 is formed rigidly on either pivotal corner of swinging plate 3 and engages similar sector-gears 21 adjacent the pivotal points 22 of angular arms 23 of the swinging letter slot lid 24, which project through openings 25 in side B of the letter-box, to the end that a raising of letter-slot lid 24 by a person desiring to send a letter causes the engagement of the gear-teeth 21 of the lid with those, 20, of the swinging plate 3 and raises the plate 3, as shown by dotted lines in Fig. 3, and through the engagement of hammer 10 by the spring 15 said hammer israised and held in said raised position by the hook of an gular lever 16 engaging hook portion 18 of said hammer. Simultaneous with the raising of the letter-slot lid 24 on the outside of the letter-box and the consequent raising thereby of the swinging plate 3 inside, as just described, a T-shaped gate or stop-plate 26 (which is slidably engaged on the face 1c of easing K by screws 27, which pass through slots 28 in said plate,) the motion permitting and limiting, is raised by the lifting-spring times 26*, Fig. 3, and this upward movement of sliding plate 26 carries its top edge 26 slightly above the lower edge of letter-slide 76, thereby forming a ledge or gate at this 5 point to intercept a posted letter so long as the letter-slot lid 24 is held in a raised position. Assuming that the lid 24 has been raised by one desiring to mail a properly stamped and directed letter, the directions Post all mail sidewise with stamp down, which are formed on the letter-box adjacent the letter-slot lid 24, are intended to instruct the sender to introduce his letters into the letter-slot one at a time with the letter- L5 faces bearing the stamp and address downward and with the long sides of the envelop of the. letter parallel with the edges of the letter-slot. Then the letter on leaving the senders hand will slide downward on the let- 2o ter-slide 7c and passing over the ribbon-covered postmark, dating, and canceling stamp lodges against the spring-raised portion 26 of plate 26, and by reason of the inclination of the surface of the letter-slide 7c the letter 25 has slid to the left toward and against the lower flange S of casing K, with the final result of accurately positioning the letter at the termination of its downward and sidewise travel to receive the impact of the platen 6 by 0 hammer 10, thereby imprinting the various marks at the usual and proper place on the envelop. A sheet-metal guard-piece 32 extends from end to end across the letter-box, slightly above the surface of letter-slide 7c and is se- 3 5 cured to the ends C and G (shown only in Figs. 2 and 3) and prevents any jumping or rebounding of the letter in its descent to the above-described position. The releasing of the lid 24 from its raised position by the sender of a letter after having deposited the same in the letter-box as directed causes the dropping not only of said lid, but of the previously-raised swinging plate 3, carrying downward therewith the cocked hammer 10. At the latter end of this downward drop of the gear-connected lid 24 and plate 3 the downwardly-projecting arm of angular lever 16 is hit by said lid 24 and is swung down ward, thereby causing the hook-arm 17 of said lever to swing from engagement with the catch 18 on hammer 10, which descends by gravity from the position shown in dotted lines in Fig. 3 at 1 and striking the plungerhead 8 the blow is transmitted through plun- 5 5 ger 5 and platen 6 to the back of the letterenvelop, forcing the latter against the inkribbon covered marking and canceling devices, making an imprint on the face of said envelop. The blow of the hammer 10 as it descends overcomes the plunger-spring 7 by the impact thereof; but said spring 7 is of a strength which, while not able to resist the impact of the descending hammer 10, is sufficient to raise the same slightly after the 6 5 blow is struck. The lower extremities of the downwardly-extendingflanges 3* on the free edge of the swinging plate 3 engage the top edge 26 of sliding plate 26, carrying said plate downwardly, and thereby removing the gate or flange that held the letter from sliding off from letter-slide k, and the simultaneous rebound of the platen 6, as above described, succeeding the delivery of its printimparting blow leaves the letter free to slide from the letter-slide 7c into the lower part of compartment G of the letter box. If the sender has several letters he desires to post for quick transmission, he merely posts them, in the manner directed, one at a time, and the automatic devices described prepare the same for forwarding without the usual delay incidental to the hand-stamping process that ordinarily intervenes in. IJOSt-OilllGGS.
That the datingstamp M maybe always in accord, the letter-carrier is required to rotate the same daily the distance of one tooth of the notch wheel 0, which is easily accom plished by turning the knob m on shaft m from the outside of easing K until the detent 0 is known to have caught the next succeeding tooth of notch-wheel O by the sense of feeling or by the audible click of the detent 0 as it catches the next tooth of O.
A simple device for feeding the ink-ribbon P, that it may always present a new surface, is illustrated in Fig. 3, and consists in. provid ing a spring-pawl 35 on sliding plate 26, which on the downward movement of said plate, as described, engages a ratchet-wheel n on the lower one of the two ink-ribbon shafts n, thereby giving said shaft a slight r0- tation and moving the ink-ribbon P a corre sponding distance on the side B of the letterboX below the letterslot I thereof, and opposite the location of angular casing K is a hinged rabbeted frame 40, adapted to contain the usual notice-card 4]., relating to the closing of mails in different directions, See, (which card may be protected from the weather by a glass or transparent celluloid pane, or the card may have a waterproof glazed surface,) and the card and glazed front backed up by a panel 42, preferably of sheet metal. The lower or free'edge of this frame 40 is provided with a spring-latch 43, which engages a ledge or catch 44, formed on the side B, thus forming a spring-lock operable from the interior of the letter-boX only.
Extending through the side B of the letterboX and connecting with the interior of the angular casing K is a rectangularopening K, through which an easily accomplished adjustment or substitution of contained parts may be performed by the carrier by unlocking and raising the frame 40, which covers the said opening.
Occupying the lower portion of the letterbox A and separated from the upper or letter compartment G by the partition G is the bulk-mail compartment H. This compartment has connecting therewith a horizontallyextending mailing-slot 50 in the side B of the letter-box and is located near the upper portion of the compartment H, the lower edge of said slot 50 being extended into the com partment H at a suitable angle by the mailslide 51, which not only guides the packages passed thereover, but renders any attempt to reach into compartment H from the outside diflicult.
A swinging lid 53 is provided on the out side of the letter-box and is hinged by its lower corners to lugs 54, formed on the side B. (See Figs. 1 and 9 and in dotted lines in Fig. 2.) The upper portion of this lid 53 has a hook-shaped flange extending thereacross, which provides a convenient means for pulling open the lid, and a groove 55, adapted, as shown in Fig. 9, to engage a corresponding rib 56, formed on side B, serves, in connection with a second rib 57, to exclude water or dust from getting into compartment H. To the end of insuring the closing of lid 53 a counterweight 58 is provided on one end of said lid and extends through an opening 59 in the wall B of the letter-box into compartment H, as seen in Figs. 2, 7, and 8 of the drawings.
Compartment G and compartment H are provided with outwardly-swinging doors 60 and 61, which are hinged by their lower edges to the end wall C of the letter-box at 60 and 61 respectively.
The letter-compartment door 60 is provided at its upper or free end with a lockcatch 63, adapted to be engaged by the spring-bolt 64 of a Yale lock 65, which is contained in a socket-shaped lug 66 on end wall C. Door 60 is also provided with a hookshaped flange 67 on the outside thereof, and that these doors 60 and 61 may be simulta neously opened by the carrier and by the employment of only one key, with which he is provided, a connecting-bar 7 O is provided, which unites these doors 60 and 61, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings, whereby any movement of door 60 is imparted to door 61 therethrough.
The practicability and convenience of this dial arrangement of doors, whereby letters and packages contained in the letter-box may be quickly discharged and by which access is quickly had to the electric push-button 76, connecting by its circuit W with a bell or other signal in the post-office, and also to the chained key 75 of the carriers timeclock, is rendered apparent in the illustrations in Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is
1. In an apparatus of the character described, a mail-box having aslanting mailingslot, and an outwardly-opening mailing-slot lid, a stationary mail-slideway on the inside of the mail-box, leading, downwardly in clined, from the mailing-slot, postmarking and canceling means on the slideway, a platen movable against and away from said slideway, and platen-operating mechanism in engagement with and actuated by the mailing-slot lid.
2. In an apparatus of the character described, a mail-box having a slanting mailingslot, a mail-slideway on the inside of the box and stationary therein, downwardly leading from the mailing-slot, postmarking mechanism relatively to which the letters are guided by the slideway, and means exteriorly of the letter box for actuating the postmarking mechanism.
3. In an apparatus of the character described, a mail-box having a slanting mailingslot, and a slanting mailing-slot lid, a mailslideway on the insideof the mail-box, and stationary therein, leading, downwardly inclined, from the mailing-sldt, postmarking and canceling means on the slideway, a platen, and platen operating mechanism, actuated by the mailingslot lid, and a letter-stop movableadjacent a lower portion of the slideway, and means for changing the positions of said stop.
4. In an apparatus of the character described, a mail-box having a mailing-slot extending diagonally across one side thereof, and having apertures therethrough, an externally-located lid downhanging over said slot, provided with upwardly and angularly extended hinge-arms projecting through said apertures, and pivotally supported within said box, a downwardly-inclined slideway within the letter-box, a swinging plate, operably engaged by the lid, a stop-plate arranged for a reciprocatory movement across the lower portion of the slideway, springpressed for its letter-intercepting osition,and retired from such position by the swinging late.
p 5. In an apparatus of the character described, a letter-box having a mailing-slot, a mailing-slot lid, a mail-slideway, postmarking characters on the slideway, a movable platen, and platenoperating mechanism comprising a swinging plate and gear connections between the swinging'plate and the letterbox.
6. In an apparatus of the character described, a mail-box having a mailing-slot extending diagonally across one side thereof, and having apertures therethrough, a downhanging outside lid provided with upwardly and angularly extended hinge-arms projecting through said apertures, and pivotally supported within said box, a mail-slideway on the inside of the letter-box leading from the mailing-slot, postmarking and canceling means on the slideway, a platen and platenoperating mechanism mounted on a hinged plate above the slideway, said plate being pivotally supported adjacent the pivotal support of the said mailing-slot lid, and gear connection between said plate and said mailingslot lid. 5
7. In an apparatus of the character described, a mail-box having a inailing-slot extending diagonally across one side thereof, a casing inside the mail-box removably attached thereto, a downwardly and inwardly inclined top or letter-slide portion formed in said casing, the upper edge portion of which is. parallel with, and joined to, the lower edge of the letter-slot, a postmarking and stamp canceling sign in relief on said letter-slide, and a dating-stamp wheel supported below said letter-slide, the upper edge of said dating-wheel extending up through an aperture in the postmark portion of said slide, an inkribbon passed over said postmarking, dating and canceling relief designs and the spools therefor, and pawl-and-ratchet devices for advancing the ribbon.
8. In an apparatus of the character described, a letter-box having a mailing-slot, a mailing-slot lid, the mail-slideway, postmarking means on the slideway, the swinging plate, gear connected with the lid, and having a platen supported thereon and movable independently thereof, a hammer for the platen, and means for causing a striking thereof on the return of the swinging plate.
9. In an apparatus of the character described, a mail-box, a casing in the mail-box, removably attached, and comprising as a part therecf a letter-slide, having a portion thereof adjomed to the letter-slot, stamp designs on the slide and a dating-wheel peripherally projecting through the slide, and means for operating the dating-wheel.
10. In an apparatus of the character described, a letter-box having a slot through the wall thereof, a letter-slide downwardly inclined from the slot, and having printing means, an externally-located lid for closing the mailing-slot, a swinging plate pivotally mounted within the letter-box, connected with, and to be actuated by, the lid, a platen carried by the swinging plate and movable relatively thereto, a hammer pivotally mounted on the swinging plate, a lever also pivotally mounted on the swinging late and cooperating with the mailing-slot id, and operable to engage and disengage the hammer on the movements of the swinging plate.
11. In an apparatus of the character described, the combination with a letter-box having a slot, a downwardly-inclined slideway, a swinging plate pivotally mounted above the slideway, and gear connected with the lid, a platen carried by, and movable independently relatively to, the swinging plate, a hammer pivotally mounted on the swinging plate and having the hook 18 and the projected portion 14, a trigger or angular lever also pivotally connected with the swinging plate, having a hook-ended member coacting with the hammer-hook, and also cooperating with the lid.
12. In an apparatus of the character described, the combination with a letter-box having a slot, a downwardly-inclined slideway, a swinging plate pivotally mounted above the slideway, and gear connected with i the lid, a' platen carried by, and movable 1ndependently relatively to, the swinging plate, a hammer pivotally mounted on the swinging plate, and having the hook 18 and the projected portion 14, a trigger or angular lever also pivotally connected with the swinging plate, having a hook-ended member coacting with the hammer-hook, and also cooperating with the lid, and the spring-abutment 15 located in the path of movement of the hammer projection 14, and constituting a yield-'- ing resistance against the movement thereof.
13. In an apparatus of the character described, a mailing-box having a mailing-slot, an externally-located lid therefor, an internally-located downwardly-inclined slideway having postmarking characters thereon, the stop-plate movable across the lower end of the slideway, and having a spring for forcing it to its position across the slideway, the swinging plate gear-connected with the mailslot lid, and carrying a platen and adapted to 9 engage for retiring the said stop-plate from its letter-intercepting position, and platenactuating mechanism.
14; In an apparatus of the character de scribed, a letter-box having a mailing-slob way, a lid externally located for covering said slot, a slideway for letters, stationary, and located within the letter-box, downwardly inclined from the slot, postmarking and canceling mechanism combined in, and coacting with, the slideway, and in engagement with and actuated by said lid, a hinged door through the wall of the letter-box to permit the withdrawal of the mailed and postmarked matter therefrom, having an internally-located lock-catch 63, a suitable lock provided in the letter-box wall, and operable, through the manipulation of its key, to engage and disengage the lock-catch 63.
15. In an apparatus of the'character described,a letter-box having a letter-mailing compartment, and a bulk-mailing compartment, and having mail-withdrawal openings through the side of the box and one above the other, hinged doors for the respective IIO mail-withdrawal openings having inward ex vice, connected in the circuit.
17. In an apparatus of the character described, the combination with a letter-box having in its front a mailingslot, an opening K thereunder, and the door 60 for the withdrawal of mailed and postmarked matter from the letter-box, a casing K located with in the letter-box having an inclined top plate 7c which constitutes a letter-slideway, postmarking character-imprinting means on the slideway, a dating-wheel supported by said casing and peripherally projecting through said plate It, the ribbon-spools and ribbon, arranged as shown, in the casing, a platen and platen-operating means controlled by the mailing-slot lid, a hinge-plate overlying the said front opening K, and having a spring-latch 43 adapted to engage through an aperture in the letter-box wall, the internally-located catch-ledge 44, and a suitable lock securing the door closed, and permitting, by the manipulation thereof, the opening of said door for the withdrawal of the mail and also enabling the disengagement of the spring-latch 43, whereby said closing-plate for the front opening may be swung away to disclose, and give access to, the mechanism mounted within said casing K.
18. In an apparatus of the character described, a letter-box having a letter-mailing compartment, with a mailingslot, and postmarking mechanism therein, and having a bulk-mail compartment H provided with a mailing-opening 50., and having above the said opening the ribs 56, 57, an intermediate groove, having at the bottom of the mailingopening the downwardly-inclined ledge 51 and the lid 53, hinged at its bottom to the letter-boX wall, having near its upper edge portion the longitudinal groove 55 matching with the rib 56, and provided with the inwardly-extending counterweighted arm, substantially as described and shown.
19. In an apparatus of the character described, the combination with the letter-box having a slanting mailingslot and an internal hook-shaped rib J thereunder, of a casing having the rib t to engage said rib J, and having the depending portion 762 disposed against the inner side of the letter-box wall, and the thumb-screw fastening therefor, together with postmarking mechanism supported by the said casing, and bodily removable, with the same, from the letter-box.
Signed byme at Springfield, Massachusetts, in presence of two subscribing witnesses.
GEORGE ALFRED OWEN.
l/Vitnesses VVM. S. BELLOWS, G. R. DRIsooLL.