Title:
Letter box arrangement
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A letter box (10) includes an upper part (10a, 20), a lower part (10b, 21), at least one door (23) hinged to the upper part (10a, 20), a front (25) with at least one motif revealing opening (26), a back (24, 34), and sides (28, 33) connecting the front and back of the letter box. The motif revealing opening (26) is arranged so that a space (S) is created between the front (25) of the letter box (10) and a metal sheet attached on the inside of the front (25) acting as the back of a motif (90), which space (S) is adapted for receiving and revealing the motif releasably slid into the space, and in that the placement of the motif (90) is on the inside of the letter box (10).



Inventors:
Cedermarker, Mats (Lomma, SE)
Application Number:
11/790970
Publication Date:
11/15/2007
Filing Date:
04/30/2007
Assignee:
AB FLEXBOX (LOMMA, SE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G29/12
View Patent Images:
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20060157548Receptacle for trashJuly, 2006Bastiani
20020092901Mailbox coverJuly, 2002Paschal
20070181661Electronic mail alert systemAugust, 2007Davis
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20060086780Mail carrier helperApril, 2006Jackson
20060186188Mailbox protective deviceAugust, 2006Belanger



Primary Examiner:
MILLER, WILLIAM L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A letter box (10) comprising an upper part (10a, 20), a lower part (10b, 21), at least one door (23) hinged to the upper part (10a, 20), a front (25) with at least one motif revealing opening (26), a back (24, 34), and sides (28, 33) connecting the front and back of the letter box, characterized in that the motif revealing opening (26) is arranged so that a space (S) is created between the front (25) of the letter box (10) and a metal sheet attached on the inside of the front (25) acting as the back of a motif (90), which space (S) is adapted for receiving and revealing the motif releasably slid into the space, and in that the placement of the motif (90) is on the inside of the letter box (10).

2. A letter box (10) according to claim 1, wherein the motif revealing opening (26) is placed below a third opening (27) on the letter box front (25) for receiving post.

3. A letter box (10) according to claim 1, wherein the motif receiving space (S) is adapted in size so that the motif (90) protrude out of the space with an end length sufficiently large for gripping.

4. A letter box (10) according to claim 2, wherein the motif receiving space (S) is adapted in size so that the motif (90) protrude out of the space with an end length sufficiently large for gripping.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a letter box having at least one motif revealing opening according to the preamble of claim 1.

DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART

Prior art letter boxes sometimes have an arrangement for installing different motifs on the outside of the letter box, so that the appearance of the letter box may meet different likings from different letter box owners and is more personal, especially in neighbourhoods where the houses are very similar in shape, colour, or the like. Such a motif arrangement on a prior art letter box is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,813,595 A1. This prior art letter box has a motif being attached to the outside casing of the letter box by fastening means with snap functions.

Prior art letter boxes suffer from disadvantages. The prior art letter box with an outer motif demands a great effort and numerous job steps when changing motifs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, this object is achieved by a letter box of the type stated above, which has the features appearing from claim 1, preferred embodiments being defined in the appended claims 2-3.

By the improved letter box of the invention, advantages are obtained.

The versatility of the letter box is enhanced because the letter box may optionally be attached to a wall or the like, or simply embedded in the ground

The letter box motifs withstand wind and weather admirably achieving a long useful life.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described in more detail with reference to the enclosed drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of a letter box according to a first embodiment of the invention,

FIG. 3 is a side view of the letter box in FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is a front view of the letter box in FIGS. 1-3,

FIGS. 5 and 6 are side views in section of the letter box in FIG. 4,

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the inside of the letter box in FIGS. 1-3,

FIG. 8 is a rear view of the letter box in FIGS. 4-6 attached to supporting means, and

FIG. 9 is a view of one part of the letter box supporting means in FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The letter box is made of sheet metal, preferably steel coated with a corrosion-proof layer or paint, with a sufficient thickness giving enough shape-resistance and robustness for preventing thiefs from getting access to the stored post by cutting through the modules with a sharp object while, at the same time, only demanding a small effort due to a low weight when handled.

The upper letter box shown in FIGS. 1-6 has an essentially square, hollow cross-section with open ends but may of course be round, triangular and/or asymmetric in cross-section.

The upper letter box comprises four openings, the first post discharge opening at the bottom part 21, 10b that is sealable by the foldable plate 22, a post receiving second opening for large post packages and daily clearing at the upper letter box end 10a with a lockable and foldable upper door/cover/lid 23 being attached by hinges to a side edge of the upper end 10a, a back 24 for detachable attachment to a support, e.g. an upright support 60 shown in FIGS. 1-3 and 8, or any other suitable surface, e.g. a house or a garage wall, a third opening on a front 25, the third opening being a second post receiving opening 27 adjacent/below the upper cover 23 for inserting relatively thin-shaped post, and a fourth opening 26 placed below the third upper front opening 27 on the front 25 for receiving and revealing a motif 90 releasably slid into a space between the front 25 and a metal sheet attached on the inside of the letter box 10 acting as the back of the motif/picture 90, and vertical sides 28 connecting the back 24 and the front 25 of the letter box. The third opening 27 is covered by a hinged lid as is readily understood by a skilled person.

The motif receiving space S (see FIG. 7) between the front 25 and the sheet metal on the letter box interior is adapted in size/width so that a motif 90 is easily slid in and out and easily gripped because the depth of the space S is somewhat smaller than the height/length of the motif 90, so that the motif protrude out of the space with an upper end length sufficiently large for gripping. The placement of the motif 90 on the inside of the letter box 10 gives a very good protection against wind and weather while, at the same time, exposing the motif very clearly through the letter box opening 26.

The letter box may optionally comprise a solid shelf 29 (shown with dashed lines in FIG. 3) placed on and supported by projections/bulges on the inside of the letter box 10 for increasing or decreasing its volume by being placed at any suitable inner height as a detachable additional letter box bottom adjusting the inner volume. The dividing shelf 29 may also be provided with at least one through opening/slit having a form/size corresponding to the shape of A4-files/-covers or other shapes of post or postal parcels or packages if placed near the upper letter box end 10a. The shelf 29 can also be held and locked in place by a key-operated locking device 40. Such a locking device is also used for the upper lid 23 to prevent non-authorized persons from getting access to the letter box interior, see FIGS. 1-6.

The letter box 10 is attached by fastening means 50, i.e. a hollow metal sleeve sealed at one end with flanges (see FIGS. 3, 5-6, 8-9) and having a U-shaped cross-section, to the vertical supporting pole 60 being a hollow square-section bar by screwing the fastening sleeve 50 onto the letter box but not all the way home and then slip/thread the sleeve 50 over the upper end of the pole 60, and finally tighten the screws so that the letter box is securely clamped against the pole by frictional force to prevent the letter box from being lifted off the pole. The sleeve 50 may also be attached by form/shape gripping, e.g. snap or screw means, to the pole 60.

The support pole 60 may be packed together with the letter box 10 in a packing when delivered to a letter box buyer, whereby the support pole 60 is split into two parts 61, 62 for minimizing the transport length/size of the letter box packing. Each pole part 61, 62 has an end 63, 64 comprising a tongue with a through hole protruding out at a one end 63 of a first pole part 61 and fitting into a corresponding end 64 of the other pole part 62 with another tongue having a through hole. When connecting the pole parts 61, 62, the pole parts are moved into abutment end to end with the corresponding end tongue inserted in the associated pole end. Screws are then screwed into holes in the pole ends 63, 64 aligned with the tongue holes for securing the pole ends together. The tongue holes could also snap into place over projections inside the pole part 61, 62. Advantageously, the pole 60 has only one end for fastening/embedment in the ground simplifying the work and reducing the work load (see FIGS. 3 and 8).

The support pole 60 according to the invention has only one upper end connected to the letter box back 24 but could of course have two upper ends on a distance from each other and forming a shape similar to a fork or yoke (shown with dashed lines in FIG. 8). Such a shape would give the possibility of providing the upper module back 24 or the expansion module back 34 or even both modules with an opening sealable by a door similar to the expansion module access door 37. In that case, the distance between the two pole ends and the two sleeves 50 and their vertical length/position before merging into the lower single pole shaft 60 must be sufficiently large to give clearance for the door when it is opened/closed.

The letter box 10 may of course also be attached to a wall or similar if spacer means is placed between the letter box back 24, 34 and the wall for creating a sufficiently large clearance for the upper cover 23 when opened upwards without being obstructed by the wall or any obstacle thereon. There is also an additional through hole below the fastening sleeve 50, which hole may be used for attaching spacer means, e.g. by screwing on a piece of wood (not shown), in the space between the support pole 60 and the upper module back 24 (see FIG. 3) to enhance the stability of the letter box.

The letter box is coated with a protecting layer of aluminum and zinc and a layer of powder coating but may be made of stainless-steel or a suitable plastic material. The advantage in having a stainless-steel or plastic letter box so that it is more corrosion-proof is that it may be digged down directly into the ground eliminating the need of the support pole 60.

The motifs 90 used in the letter box 10 of the invention are plasticized, i.e enclosed in or coated with plastic so that the motifs 90 admirably withstand wind and weather. The thickness of the motifs is adapted to the space between the front 25 and the metal sheet on the inside of the letter box in such a way that no water penetrate between the front opening 27 and the motifs 90 and leaks into the letter box when it is raining.

The movable bottom plate 22 and the upper lid 23 is hinged to the letter box 10 in such a way that its rotational axis around which the bottom plate 22 is moved is perpendicular to the rotational axis of the upper lid 23 but the rotational axes may be parallel or orientated in any other suitable angular relationship if the bottom plate 22 or the upper lid 23 is connected to the letter box 10 with another orientation.

The upper lid 23 has a weight being so large that it reduces the risk of having the lid 23 swung, i.e. blown open if it is unlocked when windy weather. The lid 23 is preferably swingable to the side of the letter box 10 because then the lid may be swung so far to the side that an adapted retainer 80 holds the lid 23 essentially upright, i.e. it stands of its own, without any support from a letter box user. If the lid 23 is hinged along the letter box back 24, 34 instead of the side edge it could only be swung open a more limited distance compared to the side-hinged lid towards the back of the wall-mounted letter box because the wall hinders this movement and a letter box user may have to hold the lid open when clearing the letter box.

According to an embodiment a letter box 10 according to the invention is formed by at least one module, i.e. a first upper post storing module 20 in a first embodiment, and at least two post receiving and storing modules, i.e the upper module 20 and a lower post storing module, i.e. an expansion module 30 detachably connected to the upper module 20 in a second embodiment. The complete description of the present embodiment can be read in the published application no. WO2006046897. The complete description has been deleted from this application.