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Патент USA US3029738

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April 17, 1962
R. POLK, JR
3,029,728
METHOD AND MEANS FOR PREPARING ENVELOPES FOR POSTAL MARKING
Filed Sept. 9, 1960
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2 Sheets-Sheet 1‘
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ATTORNEYS
April 17, 1962
R. POLK, JR
3,029,728
METHOD AND MEANS FOR PREPARING ENVELOPES FOR POSTAL MARKING
Filed Sept. 9, 1960
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
772MW,
5%- £
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ATTORNEYS
nited States
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ice
2
1
3,029,728
METr-ron AND MEANS tron rnnranmo ENVE
Lorns non POSTAL MARKING
Ralph Polk, .l’r., Box 320a, Tampa, Fla.
Filed Sept. a, 196i), Ser- No. 54,915
9 claims. (tT3l.lti1-=-232)
3,029,728
Patented Apr. 17, 1962
is arranged relative to the envelope position so as to make
an impression within the predetermined area.
This can
be carried out in two ways, ?rst by standing the en
velopes upon their top edges to cause the inserts to move
to the top and mounting the roller adjacent the base on
which the envelopes stand, or, second, by agitating the
envelope to shift the insert to the desired placement
within the envelope, and then turning the envelope as
required to present it to a ?xed roller position. In either
paring pre-stutfed envelopes for passage through a postage
meter cancelling machine, or similar envelope marking 10 event, the printing roller bears upon the envelope in an
area which is backed by the envelope insert.
device, and to improvements in such marking devices.
Referring to the drawings in detail, and ?rst adverting
In most postal marking devices, a printing roller is
to FEGURE 1, an envelope 1 having the usual sealing
mounted opposite a backing plate and pre-stuffed en
flap 2 folded along the top edge of the envelope is shown
velopes are fed between them to receive an impression
of the printing roller. It is customary that this impres 15 in inverted position upon a pathway, or supporting plat
form, 3. Movement of the envelope along the pathway
sion be made along the upper edge of the envelope adja
carries it between a vertical backing plate 4 and a print
cent the right end. With normal letter mail the impres
ing roller 5 which is mounted for rotation about a verti
sion is usually well made and quite distinct and legible.
cal axis. The backing plate and printing roller are illus
This is not the case, however, when an envelope con
tains a relatively thick insert, particularly when the insert 20 trative of the impression mechanism in a postage meter,
or other postal marking machine. It will be understood
includes a plurality of separate units, such as a packet
that the roller and backing plate are yieldingly urged to
of cancelled checks with a bank statement, or a small
ward contact, but will separate as an envelope enters be
pamphlet, or any relatively bulky material of less depth
tween them so that proper pressure contact with the en
than the envelope in which it is placed. Very frequently,
the insert will be adjacent the bottom of the envelope, 25 velope may be obtanied.
Envelope 1 is shown as having a plurality of inserts 6,
so that a narrow band along the top of the envelope
which spread the sides of the envelope so that in those
is not supported by the insert and, therefore, has no
areas not occupied by the inserts, as in the area 7, the
pressure contact with the printing roller. This results in
This invention relates to a method and means for pre
an imperfect impression which is unreadable. ‘
sides are out of contact with one another and unsup
The general object of the present invention is to pro- .
vide a method and means to insure full backing of an
insert in that area of an envelope upon which an impres
ported. Therefore, the present invention contemplates
inverting the envelope, as shown, and positioning the
printing roller adjacent the pathway upon which the
envelope moves, in those installations where the envelope
moves through the marking apparatus in an upright posi
sion is to be made, during passage of the envelope
through the printing area of a postage meter, cancellation
35 tion. In some cases, it will be found desirable to agitate,
device, or other envelope marking mechanism.
or vibrate, envelopes moving toward the printing roller.
A more speci?c object of the invention is to attain
In any event, with the envelope inverted and the inserts
the above object by providing for agitation of envelopes,
moved solidly into the inverted top of the envelope, the
prior to presentation to the printing roller, in a manner
' to cause inserts within the envelope to move to a prede
top edge portion of the envelope front which usually
termined area in the envelope to obtain uniform thick 40 receives the marking will be ?rmly hacked to insure a.
complete, legible impression being made.
ness of the envelope in the predetermined area.
Referring now to FIGURES 2 to 4 of the drawings,
Another object is to provide a path along which en
there is shown a feeding device which is capable of mov
velopes may travel in selected position, while imparting
ing envelopes to a postage meter, or thetlike, and arrang
vibration to the path to cause inserts within envelopes
on the path to settle to a desired area of the envelopes. ,‘
Still another object is to provide means to assure an
envelope having its inserts placed to provide full backing
ing the inserts within the envelopes in a selected position
while in transit. The feeding device can be adapted to
deliver envelopes to the marking device either vertically '
in a predetermined area and to locate the printing roller
or horizontally as required by the particular machine
along the path of travel of the insert-backed portion of
the envelope.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent
from the following description of practical embodiments
thereof when taken in conjunction with the drawings
which accompany, and form- part of, this speci?cation.
In the drawings:
being fed.
FIGURE 1 is a somewhat diagrammatic view illus
The device is mounted upon a suitable frame 8 which
may take any appropriate form. It is shown as compris
ing a base 9 from which a post It) and a plurality of sup
‘ porting legs 11, 12 and 13 project upwardly for mounting
parts of the mechanism.
.
.
Post 10 carries a mounting pin 14 near its upper end
to which one end of an upwardly opening U-shaped guide
trating the desired relationship of an envelope and its in
sert with relation to. the printing roller and backing plate
of ‘a postal marking machine;
trough 15 is pivotally connected. The trough extends
angularly downward from its pivoted end and has its
predetermined area of theenvelope and the printing roller
distance to allow free vibratory movement of the trough.
lower end connected to the movable element 16 of a
FIGURE 2 is a side elevation, with parts broken away, 60 vibrator unit 17, rigidly mounted upon the frame legs 11.
of one end of a postal marking machine and an envelope
It will be clear that with this arrangement the trough will
feed mechanism constructed in accordance with the pres
be given an oscillatory movement about its pivot, with
ent invention;
the greatest amplitude of movement being at the lower
FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of the structure shown
end.
in FIGURE 2; and
65
A guide plate 18 also has one end attached to the top
FIGURE 4 is a vertical, transverse section through
of post 10, above the trough position and in the vertical
the feed mechanism, taken on the line 4—4 of FIG
plane of the rear leg of the U-shaped trough to provide
URE 2.
support to envelopes in the trough. The lower end of the
In general, the invention concerns the presentation of
stuffed envelopes to a printing roller in such manner that 70 guide plate is secured to the upper end of one of the legs
12. The plate will be spaced from the trough a su?icient
the inserts within the envelope provide a backing for a
3,029,728
31
4
A. guide. rail 1.9 is mounted in front of the guide Plate
place the envelope for a printing roller mounted above a
backing plate upon a horizontal axis. The inserts which
above the exit end of the trough, to complete the guide
way for envelopes. Guide rail 19 is suspended by a
had been vibrated into the upper right hand corner of
bracketv 29 connected to the guide plate 18. The end 21
of the rail may be ?ared away from the guide plate to
facilitate entry of envelopes between the guide plate and
guide rail. A spring; ?nger 22 may be attached to the rail
to exert light pressure against envelopes moving along
the envelope will remain there to give the envelope uni
form, ?rm thickness in the area upon which the impres
sion is to be made.
While in the above a practical embodiment of the
invention has been disclosed, it will be obvious that the
details of structure shown and described are merely for
the Pathway provided by the trough
A feed belt- 23 has one end of its horizontal top ?ight
10 purposes of illustration, and the invention may take other
1Q extending beneath the, exit end of the trough to receive
forms within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In the method for placing a postal marking upon
an envelope having an insert by passing the envelope be
tween a printing roller and backing plate, the improve
ment which comprises, holding the envelope on edge with
the edge adjacent which the postal marking is to be made
downward, agitating the envelope vertically to shake the
envelopes from the trough and transport them to the
postal marking machine being fed. Belt 23 is mounted
Vupon rollers 25 and 2,6, rotatably mounted in legs 12
and, 13. Above the belt there is an envelope backing
rail, or plate, 27 which will serve to assist envelopes
emerging from the trough in falling in predetermined
position, upon the top ?ight of the belt. At the discharge
end of the belt there is a feed roller 28, positioned above
. insert downwardly in the envelope into backing rela
the‘ belt on one end of an arm 29, pivotally connected 20 tion to the. area of the envelope to be marked, then
at its other end to the backing rail 27. Roller 28 may
passing the enevlope between the printing roller and
rest: upon the belt, when, no envelopes are on the belt,
or a, stop 29-, or leg 13, may be used to contact arm 29
backing plate.
2. In the method for placing a postal marking upon
an envelope as claimed in claim 1, tilting the envelope in
an envelope moves along the belt it will lift the roller 25 a vertical plane before agitating to position one lower
so that the envelope will be between the belt and roller.
corner below the other to settle the insert into the low
Belt 23 and roller 28 will be driven and the peripheral
ermost corner.
speed of the roller and the linear speed of the belt will
3. Apparatus for imprinting adjacent one edge en
be the same so that the two. will form a feed couple
velopes having inserts therein comprising, means forming
to. positively insert envelopes into the postal marking 30 a pathway along which envelopes may be: passed on edge
machine indicated generally at 30. The drive may come
with the edge adjacent the area to be imprinted down
from the machine being fed, or the feeding device may
ward, a backing plate at one side of the pathway, a print
and. hold the roller spaced slightly above the belt. When
have its own motor. In. either- event, the drive will
ing roller spaced from the backing plate and adjacent
be by- chain 31 to a sprocket 32 on the shaft of roller 25.
the pathway, at least a portion of the pathway along
A second sprocket 33 on the same shaft carries a chain 34
which the envelopes may be passed before reaching the
to. drive sprocket 35 on the pivot shaft 36 for the arm
printing roller and backing plate positions being movable
29.. A gear 3T7v on shaft 36 meshes with another gear 38
in a vertical plane, and means to move vertically in rapid
on roller shaft 39v to drive the roller.
osciilation the movable portion of the pathway.
The vibrator unit may be electrical or a mechanical
4. Apparatus for preparing envelopes having inserts
eccentric type. It is shown as electrical, and has a cord 40 for imprinting adjacent one edge comprising, a frame,
40. which can be. connected to a suitable electric outlet.
means on the frame forming a declining pathway along
The feeding device will be set up adjacent the envelope
entrance of a postage meter, or similar device, so that
envelopes emerging from the feed couple will ‘be inserted
i-nto'the postal machine.
which envelopes may be advanced vertically with the
edge adjacent which the imprint is to be made down
ward, means to vibrate vertically the means forming a
When it is desired to use 45 pathway to settle the inserts into one corner of the down—
the device, the drive is started to begin movement of the
belt and roller and the vibrator is turned on. This will
put the trough 15 in vertical vibratory movement. Enve
lopes will be put into the trough near the top, that is,
above the guide rail 1?, to move down between the 50
guide plate and guide rail. The envelope is placed in
the trough with its top edge down and the sealing ?ap
facing outwardly away from the guide plate 18. Thus,
placed edge of the envelope.
5. Apparatus for preparing envelopes having inserts
for imprinting adjacent one edge comprising, a frame,
means on the frame forming a pathway along which the
envelopes may be advanced vertically with the edge ad
jacent which the imprint is to be made downward, means
to vibrate vertically the means forming the pathway to
settle the inserts to the down-placed edge of the en
the upper right hand corner of the face of the envelope
velope, a conveyor extending from the pathway in the
Will be in the trough at the leading edge of the envelope 55 direction of envelope movement to carry- envelopes from
in its travel down the trough. This also places the
the pathway, and means above the conveyor adjacent the
envelope so that the designated corner is the lowest part.
end of the pathway to cause envelopes moving onto the
of the envelope. Because of this arrangement and the
conveyor‘to fall flat upon the conveyor in predetermined
vibratory movement of the trough being transmitted to
direction.
_ '
the envelope, inserts within the envelope will be shaken 60
into. the described corner into contact with the envelope
top fold and right hand edge. This will ensure com
plete backing of the envelope face in the desired area.
6. Apparatus for preparing envelopes having inserts
for imprinting adjacent one edge comprising, a frame, a
trough on the frame in which envelopes can be placed
vertically on edge with the edge adjacent which an im
print is to be made downward and along which envelopes
The vibratory effect upon the envelope becomes more
severe as the, envelope reaches the lower end of the trough, 65 can move, vibrator means interposed between the frame
but the light contact of the spring ?nger 22 will su?‘ice to
and the trough so as to provide vertical vibration to the
hold the envelope against movement from the trough.
trough, and a-conveyor mounted on the frame, and ex
The envelopes will move from the trough onto the
tending from the trough in the direction of envelope
belt in vertical position andv will be held upright as long
movement- to transport envelopes from the trough to a
as a, portion remains behind the guide rail. As soon as 70 place to be imprinted.
the trailing edge of the envelope moves away from the
guide rail, the envelope will be unsupported on one side
and will fall over onto the belt. This will result in the
envelope approaching the postal machine face up and
with its right edge the leading edge. This will properly 75
7. Apparatus for preparing envelopes for imprinting
as claimed in claim 6 wherein the trough declines in the
direction of envelope movement providing upper and
lower ends for the trough, and the trough is pivotally
connected to the frame adjacent its upper end.
3,029,728
6
55
8. Apparatus for preparing envelopes for imprinting
as claimed in claim 7 wherein there are guide means ad
of the conveyor to insure envelopes falling in a prede
termined direction ?at upon the conveyor.
jacent the ‘trough to hold envelopes vertical during pas~
sage along the trough, and guide means along one side
of the conveyor to insure envelopes falling in a prede
termined direction ?at upon the conveyor.
9. Apparatus for preparing envelopes for imprinting
as claimed in claim 6 wherein there are guide means ad
jacent the trough to hold envelopes vertical during pas
sage along the trough, and guide means along one side 10
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
2,697,236
2,746,380
2,887,951
McCain et a1. ________ __ Dec. 21, 1954
Gottscho ____________ .. May 22, 1956
Strother et a1. ________ __ May 26, 1959
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