United States Patent 3669038

A transparent, order delivery chamber disposed at counter height, between customer and attendant, with a door adjacent each of them. The customer's door is opened by the attendant, by remote operation of a reversible electric motor, only after he has placed the requested order in the chamber from his side and secured his door. An adjacent passage allows prior payment and change making. Thus a pane of bulletproof glass is always interposed between the attendant and a "customer" who might threaten him with a gun or other weapon.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
49/68, 109/68
International Classes:
E05G7/00; (IPC1-7): E06B7/00
Field of Search:
109/10-12,17,67,68,66 49
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2984194Robbery-proof teller's section for banking institutionsMay 1961Jennings
1008125N/ANovember 1911Eichelkraut

Primary Examiner:
Bell, Karl J.
I claim

1. A one-way delivery chamber adapted to be located traversing a building wall and including transparent walls which enable an operator to see from his entry side of the chamber, a person who takes delivery from the exit side of the chamber, which chamber is associated with an adjacent money-receiving passage extending in the opposite direction, said chamber including walls defining a package-receiving passage not exceeding approximately the length of a person's arm, having a floor which is approximately counter-high and having entry and exit closures adapted respectively for allowing articles to be placed in the chamber by the operator from one side of the building wall when the entry closure is open, and to be withdrawn at the other side of the building wall when the entry closure is shut and the exit closure is open, thus enabling a stepwise transfer of articles from one side of the building wall to the other, said exit closure comprising a panel bearing rack teeth along one edge thereof, said chamber having operating means operable by an operator from the entry side of the chamber and comprising electrically-driven reversible gear means engaging said rack teeth for selectively opening and closing the exit closure when the entry closure is shut, said operating means including means for retaining the exit closure shut in response to the entry closure being open, said entry closure not being manipulable by a person from the exit side of the chamber.


This invention relates to security and protection means which enable an attendant behind a counter to fill a customer's order and receive payment, or to cash his check, etc. without danger of being held up by the assumed customer, that is, without being directly exposed to a gun or knife suddenly held against him or pointed at close range at a time when his hands may be occupied by making change or handing out goods. Such an installation is especially useful, for example, at a luncheon stand, liquor store, or check cashing booth where the two parties customarily deal with each other at arm's length, and the attendant must necessarily keep a supply of money close at hand. If the situation merely demanded an exchange of checks or banknotes, this might be effected through angled slots or chutes located in bulletproof glass; however this is quite inadequate when the exchange involves delivery of a quantity or parcel of merchandise which may vary in size and at least one some occasions may be quite bulky.

Especially adapted for such situations, the invention provides a delivery chamber into which the attendant can place a requested order after first receiving payment; he then closes a door on his side and thereafter, by remote control, opens the door on the customer's side, permitting the latter to remove his order. Part or all of the chamber (and adjacent) walls may be transparent (e.g. bulletproof glass) so that the person on each side may easily watch the transaction--and each other--and if the customer at any time draws a gun, he and it are still separated from the attendant by a heavy pane of glass, thus allowing the attendant safely to drop below the counter, trip an alarm, discharge a gas grenade or take other appropriate action. With the present electrically operated assembly, the outer door of the chamber will not open as long as the inner door is not closed; that is, the closed inner door forms part of the necessary operating circuit for the take-out door. Sliding movement of the outer door in either direction is effected by a reversible electric gear motor which engages rack teeth along one edge of the door. The two persons can still talk directly to each other however through a louver located in the front wall of the adjacent change-making passage, which also has a closure entirely operable by the attendant for passing money back and forth. The present assembly can be mounted atop of an already existing counter and the adjacent side openings filled in; or an existing wall can be apertured to receive it at counter height. In this connection, it is especially adapted to be installed in the outer wall of a building where potential holdup men could rapidly melt into passing traffic after a robbery attempt; that is, it affords more protection than merely placing the cashier's booth at the rear of a store which may relay on a descendable grill at the front door.

In the drawings, which illustrate by way of example a presently preferred embodiment of my invention:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, looking down on my delivery chamber assembly installed in the upright wall of a structure to which a customer has access.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the chamber as seen from the right of FIG. 1 with the rear door of the chamber and the money exchange door each partially open and a portion of the chamber wall broken away to show a microswitch located for contact by the closed door.

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the electric circuitry.

As here illustrated, the assembly may be supported upon or form part of a counter 10 which is typically the height of a service table such as may be found in stores and cafeterias, with the front of the assembly filling a correspondingly shaped opening in a vertical wall 12 and disposed more or less flush therewith. Above and on either side of the assembly, part or all of the vertical wall 12 may or may not be transparent, as desired. Thus, if the area immediately behind the wall 12 is used to prepare short orders for a customer to take out of the lunch stand, it may be desired to enable him to see such orders being prepared. However, by the present arrangement such transfer takes place only through the (bulletproof but transparent) delivery chamber, and the payment therefor takes place only at the change passage laterally adjacent thereto. The result is that an attendant is not directly exposed to the possible threat of an armed customer, but at the same time each one can see and talk directly to the other without any appreciable feeling or lack of personal dealing or of mutual involvement.

Primarily there is provided a generally rectangular chamber C formed by a fixed bottom 10a, side 13, 14 and top 15 walls, plus two end-closures, the rear 16 of which is hingedly mounted at 17, 18 and the front one 19 being slidable in a lower track 20. Preferably all of these fixed walls and doors, except the bottom 10a are of heavy or bulletproof glass and fastened together by a metal edge frame 22 which also provides the front channel or track 20.

The internal distance between the two doors 16, 19 corresponds to what might be designated as an easy arm-reach for a person, so that the attendant can reach through the open rear door 16 and place an order on the floor 10a at the front adjacent the closed door 19. He can then close the rear door by hand and secure it by the latch 23. The edge of the closed door then contacts a microswitch 24 which completes an electric circuit to permit the front door to be opened (by the attendant) as described below.

The chamber floor 10a extends laterally 11 to form a base for a money exchange passage P. The latter has an upright (transparent) front wall 25 which at its lower portion is apertured to receive an in-swinging door 26 hingedly mounted at 27, 28 and provided with an inside latch 29 which can be manually operated by the attendant and held open just sufficiently to slide coins or paper money back and forth across the outer margin of the base 11. Alternately (or in addition) there may be angularly directed chutes or slots in the wall 25 through which money can be dropped in and out (such as shown in FIG. 2 of U.S. Pat. No. 1,714,305).

The upper segment of the wall 25 contains a louver 30 through which the customer and attendant can easily converse. If desired, a microphone can also be located at this spot, so that any whispered threat of a customer can be amplified and broadcast over the immediate area so as to alert nearby security forces.

The upper edge of the front, sliding door 19 carries a rack 32 which is located in a downward-opening channel member 33 which thus forms a track for the door (aligned with the lower track 20). A microswitch 34, 35 is located at each end of the upper track so as to be contacted by the sliding door at each extreme position. A reversible electric motor 37 is mounted in a housing 36 located atop the forward portion of the chamber wall 15. A gear wheel 38 of the motor is disposed in driving engagement with the teeth of the rack 32 so as to move the door open and shut when a circuit is closed by the attendant's switch 39 at the rear of passage P.

Looking at the schematic circuit diagram shown in FIG. 3, a source of alternating current 21 is joined by conductor 42 to the rear door microswitch 24, and by conductor 43 to a synchronous motor 37. The motor is connected by line 44 to a resistor 40 which by line 45 is connected to a capacitor 41. The latter is connected by line 46 to one track microswitch 35, and the capacitor is connected by line 47 to the rear door microswitch 24. The track microswitch 35 is connected to one side of the reversing switch 39 by conductor 48, and the other track microswitch 34 is connected to the other side of the reversing switch 39 by conductor 49. The last track microswitch 34 is connected to the resistor 40 by line 50.

Thus, as soon as a circuit is formed by the rear door 16 closing the microswitch 24, the motor 37 will drive the sliding door 19 in one direction or the other (depending on the position of the control switch 39) until it is stopped by circuit-interrupting-contact with one or the other track microswitches 34 or 35. Reversing the control switch 39 will then reverse the rotation of the motor 37 and the directional movement of the rack-and-gear driven door 19. While the sliding door 19 has been shown as being moved horizontally, it will be evident that the present assembly could be used to move a door vertically; other modifications will occur to those skilled in the art.