The present invention, in some embodiments thereof, relates to safety and, more particularly, but not exclusively, to roadside safety.
Roadside mailboxes are often made from mortar and brick, stone, and/or other masonry materials for various reasons including aesthetics and durability. However, these mailboxes tend to be massive, immovable, and solid structures. By necessity, these mailboxes are located on roadsides, adjacent to entrances of driveways of buildings and residences. However, being so close to the roadside, these heavy and unforgiving structures can be hazardous to wayward vehicles and their occupants when struck.
Additionally, these masonry structures are typically constructed by skilled masons, such as bricklayers and stone masons, using brick, stone, concrete and/or precast cement materials. This increases costs and/or time of constructing the mailboxes. Other negative drawbacks of these massive immovable solid heavy masonry structures include the recurring need of maintenance to correct shifting, cracking, and/or tilting.
There is provided in accordance with an aspect of the invention, a safety mailbox assembly, comprising: a substantially hollow and post-less top structure configured with a top portion of a reversible connection at a base of the top structure and including at least one mail box disposed therein; a substantially hollow and post-less bottom structure configured with a bottom portion of the reversible connection; wherein the top portion and the bottom portion connect together to reversibly connect the top structure and the bottom structure.
In an embodiment of the invention, the reversible connection is a snap fit joint.
In an embodiment of the invention, the top portion of the reversible connection is configured with a ledge on which the bottom portion hangs when the top portion and the bottom portion are snap fit to each other.
In an embodiment of the invention, the bottom portion of the reversible connection is biased for insertion into the top portion of the reversible connection.
In an embodiment of the invention, the reversible connection comprises at least one dowel with at least one counterpart aperture adapted for receipt of the dowel.
In an embodiment of the invention, the assembly further comprises at least one of at least one plastic rivet and an adhesive to reversibly connect the top structure and the bottom structure.
In an embodiment of the invention, the top structure represents at least 75% of a total height of the safety mailbox assembly.
In an embodiment of the invention, the bottom structure is 12 inches in height or less.
In an embodiment of the invention, the bottom structure has a hollow with a capacity of at least 320 lbs. of dry concrete mix.
In an embodiment of the invention, an exterior surface of at least the top structure is provided with ornamentation.
In an embodiment of the invention, the ornamentation is at least one of a wood pattern, a metal pattern, a stone pattern, a color and a design.
In an embodiment of the invention, the total height is 65 inches.
There is further provided in accordance with an aspect of the invention, a method of using a safety mailbox assembly, comprising: placing a bottom structure at a desired location; filling a hollow of the bottom structure with a weighty substance; and, reversibly connecting a top structure to the bottom structure such that a mail box disposed within the top structure faces in a desired direction.
In an embodiment of the invention, the method further comprises reconnecting the top structure to the bottom structure after a separating impact.
In an embodiment of the invention, the method further comprises affixing at least one of street number, street name, and owner name to the top structure.
In an embodiment of the invention, the method further comprises attaching a mail flag to a side of the top structure.
In an embodiment of the invention, the method further comprises driving a location stake through the bottom structure at the desired location, prior to the filling.
There is further provided in accordance with an aspect of the invention, a system for changing the aesthetic appearance of a safety mailbox assembly, comprising: a plurality of substantially hollow and post-less top structures, each with different exterior surface ornamentation, configured with a top portion of a reversible connection at a base of the top structure and including at least one mail box disposed therein; at least one substantially hollow and post-less bottom structure configured with a bottom portion of the reversible connection; wherein the bottom portion is reversibly connectable to any of the plurality of top portions to reversibly and interchangeably connect the plurality of top structures to the bottom structure and effectuating the alteration of the appearance of the safety mailbox assembly.
In an embodiment of the invention, different exterior surface ornamentation includes at least one of a wood pattern, a metal pattern, a stone pattern, a color and a design.
Unless otherwise defined, all technical and/or scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of embodiments of the invention, exemplary methods and/or materials are described below. In case of conflict, the patent specification, including definitions, will control. In addition, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and are not intended to be necessarily limiting.
Some embodiments of the invention are herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example, are not necessarily to scale, and are for purposes of illustrative discussion of embodiments of the invention. In this regard, the description taken with the drawings makes apparent to those skilled in the art how embodiments of the invention may be practiced.
In the drawings:
The present invention, in some embodiments thereof, relates to safety and, more particularly, but not exclusively, to roadside safety.
Before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not necessarily limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components and/or methods set forth in the following description and/or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments or of being practiced or carried out in various ways.
Generally, a mailbox assembly is provided which has a top structure reversibly attachable and/or reversibly separable from a bottom structure, for example in case of physical impact or optionally, for aesthetics.
It is conceived that by providing a separable mailbox assembly, personal injury to automobile passengers and/or damage to automobiles running into the mailbox assembly 100 (such as shown and described in more detail with respect to
In an aspect, an exterior surface of the mailbox assembly 100 is provided with ornamentation, for example to mimic stone, metal, brick, wood or any other design (e.g. sports team logos, different colors, textures, patterns). The mailbox assembly 100 optionally is a part of a system which comprises a plurality of modular and/or interchangeable top and/or bottom structures to alter the appearance of the mailbox, optionally periodically, as is desired by the owner.
In an aspect, the top structure 102 and/or the bottom structure 104 are substantially hollow (i.e. hollow but for at least one mail box and/or an added weighty substance, such as described below) and post-less (i.e. no post traverses vertically within or attached thereto for stabilizing the mailbox assembly 100). Optionally, the top structure 102 and/or the bottom structure 104 are molded. In some aspects, at least a part of the ornamentation of the exterior surface is formed as a part of the molding process. At least one flat space 108 can be provided on any, and/or on more than one, side to the top structure 102 and/or the bottom structure 104 for attaching street numbers, street name, owner name and/or other information.
The top structure 102 is provided with at least one mail box 106 for holding delivered mail and/or newspapers. In some aspects, the mail box 106 is formed during the manufacturing process with an optional door being provided to the mail box 106 to provide access to (when open) and/or deny access to (when closed) the contents of the mail box 106. Optionally, merely an opening for the mail box 106 is formed during manufacturing with a separate mail box component being inserted into the opening to provide a container for holding delivered mail. In some aspects, the top structure 102 includes a mail flag 110, for indicating that there is outgoing mail, attached to a side of the top structure 102.
The bottom structure 104 is provided with a hollow such that the hollow can be filled with at least one weighty substance or material, shown and described in more detail with respect to
The top structure 102 and the bottom structure 104 are configured to removably and/or reversibly attach to each other, for example by a snap fit joint or a counterpart male/female (e.g. dowel/aperture) mating arrangement. It should be understood that, in some aspects, the attachment configuration is one which is reversible such that upon separation of the top structure 102 from the bottom structure 104, the mailbox assembly 100 can be reassembled immediately without any additional/replacement materials. Additionally, alternatively and/or optionally, the top structure 102 and the bottom structure 104 may be attached using some other form of attachment, such as plastic rivets and/or an adhesive (which would possibly require replacement rivets and/or additional adhesive in order to reassemble the mailbox assembly 100). In some aspects, the top structure 102 is molded to sit atop the bottom structure 104 such that none of the top of the bottom structure 104 is visible. Optionally, the bottom structure 104 exhibits a tiered level when the top structure 102 is placed on top of it. In an aspect, the top structure 102 represents at least 75% of the total height of the mailbox assembly 100. Optionally, the top structure 102 represents at least 85% of the total height of the mailbox assembly 100. In some embodiments of the invention, the mailbox assembly 100 is approximately 26 in. wide. In some embodiments of the invention, the mailbox assembly 100 is approximately 33 in. long. In some embodiments of the invention, the mailbox assembly 100 is approximately 65 in. tall. These measurements are by way of example only; it should be understood the mailbox assembly 100 could exhibit virtually any combination of dimensions.
As shown in the
It is expected that during the life of a patent maturing from this application many relevant mailboxes will be developed and the scope of the term mailbox is intended to include all such new technologies a priori.
The terms “comprises”, “comprising”, “includes”, “including”, “having” and their conjugates mean “including but not limited to”.
The term “consisting of” means “including and limited to”.
The term “consisting essentially of” means that the composition, method or structure may include additional ingredients, steps and/or parts, but only if the additional ingredients, steps and/or parts do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the claimed composition, method or structure.
As used herein, the singular form “a”, “an” and “the” include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. For example, the term “a compound” or “at least one compound” may include a plurality of compounds, including mixtures thereof.
Throughout this application, various embodiments of this invention may be presented in a range format. It should be understood that the description in range format is merely for convenience and brevity and should not be construed as an inflexible limitation on the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the description of a range should be considered to have specifically disclosed all the possible subranges as well as individual numerical values within that range. For example, description of a range such as from 1 to 6 should be considered to have specifically disclosed subranges such as from 1 to 3, from 1 to 4, from 1 to 5, from 2 to 4, from 2 to 6, from 3 to 6 etc., as well as individual numbers within that range, for example, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. This applies regardless of the breadth of the range. Further, described ranges are intended to include numbers outside any range described within statistical error and/or inherent measurement equipment limitations.
Whenever a numerical range is indicated herein, it is meant to include any cited numeral (fractional or integral) within the indicated range. The phrases “ranging/ranges between” a first indicate number and a second indicate number and “ranging/ranges from” a first indicate number “to” a second indicate number are used herein interchangeably and are meant to include the first and second indicated numbers and all the fractional and integral numerals therebetween.
It is appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention, which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable subcombination or as suitable in any other described embodiment of the invention. Certain features described in the context of various embodiments are not to be considered essential features of those embodiments, unless the embodiment is inoperative without those elements.
All publications, patents and patent applications mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated in their entirety by reference into the specification, to the same extent as if each individual publication, patent or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated herein by reference. In addition, citation or identification of any reference in this application shall not be construed as an admission that such reference is available as prior art to the present invention. To the extent that section headings are used, they should not be construed as necessarily limiting.
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|20190021535 A1||Jan 2019||US|