US1014545A - Autopneumatic playing device for musical instruments. - Google Patents

Autopneumatic playing device for musical instruments. Download PDF


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US1014545A US51375609A US1909513756A US1014545A US 1014545 A US1014545 A US 1014545A US 51375609 A US51375609 A US 51375609A US 1909513756 A US1909513756 A US 1909513756A US 1014545 A US1014545 A US 1014545A
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Charles Warren
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Charles Warren
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    • G10F1/00Automatic musical instruments
    • G10F1/02Pianofortes with keyboard


APPLIUATIUN FILED AUG. 20, 1909. Patented Jan. 9, 1912.
"- 8 SEEET8-SHEET 1.
Patented Jan. 9, 1912.
Patented Jan. 9, 1912.
a sums-sum a.
Specification of Letters Patent.
Application filed August 20, 1 909.
Patented Jan. 9, 1912. Serial No. 513,756.
To all whom. it may concern Be it known that I, CiL-ucLus \VAltltI-IN, a citizen of the United States, residing at Rockford, in the county of ll'im'iebago and State of Illinois, have invented new and useful Improvements in Autopneumatic Playing Devices for Musical Instruments, of which the following is a specification, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, forming a part thereof.
The purpose of this invention is to pro-' 'vide an improved construction for certain elements and portions of a pneumatic action and connections for the same for automatic playing of musical instruments, particularly designed .for the interior player action of an automatic operable piano.
It consists in the elements, and features of construction shown and described as indicated in the claims.
In the drawings :Figure 1 is a fore-andaft vertical section through the upper portion, including the manual of an upright pi mo equipped with this invention at. the line 11' on Fig. 2. Fig. 2 is a partly sectional front elevation of the same, section being made through the pneumatic action at the line 22- on Fig. 1, another section being made at the line 2 2 on Fig. 1. Fig. 3 is a detail plan view of the primary pneumatics for controlling the shut-off and regulating motor pneumatics of the vent, valves and air connections for the same. Fig. 4
.is a detaiLsection at the line 4--4 on Fig.
2. Fig. 5 is a. vertical axial section of a ,primary pneumatic and its valves for controlling the re-roll, take-up and reversing niechanism section being made lengthwise of the valves at the axis of the pneumatic diaphragm. 'Fig. 6 is a rear elevation of an automatic governor for the roll-actuating motor. Fig. 7 is a section at the line 7 7 on Fig. 6 on a slightly reduced scale. Fig. 8 is a detail section at the ,linc 8-43 on Fig. 6. Fig. 9 is a section. at the line 99 on Fig. (3. Fig. 10 is a'horizontal section .of the case showing the foundation board in top plan view. Fig. 11 is a partially sectional front edge elevation of a lock containing several primary pneumatics and their valves, set tiorl being made in vertical plane through one of the valves, at 1-1--11 of Fl .10.
The structure represented in the ravvings shows a customary construction of an upright piano, of which the familiar parts are represented by letters as follows: A is the f mndation board underneath the manual ktiys, B, extending to the upright ends of the ease, t; l) the hammer action. The automatic playing devices comprise a pneumatic action which as a whole is indicated by the letter, F. It. is mounted above the rear part of the manual keys, having a base board, F, which extends to the ends of the case and supported thereon. The control; ling mechanism, comprising the tracker board, G, roll carriage, H, and rolls H H thereon, and motor, J, for the rolls, is lo cated above the pneumatic action, the several elements constituting said controlling n'iechanism being mounted upon the carrying bar, K, supported on the ends of the case. the means for producing suction or exhaust tension for operating the pneumatic action comprises the pumpers, L, L, connected respectively with exhaust. air bellows, M, M, which are mounted in vertical osition just inside the two ends of the case )eyond the lateral range of the manual. The two chambers, M, M, are connected by an air trunk, M so that both are affected by the action of either of the pumpers, L, L, said pamper-s, however, communicate directly each with the exhaust air bellows, M. at the corresponding end of the instrument; such connection being made by short air trunks. L, leading into valve chambers, M, M", which are mounted upon the fixed walls of the bellows, M, M, respectively, as clearly seen in the drawings.
The pneumatic action comprises primary pneumatic chambers, 1, of which there are a plurality for convenience of arranging the pneunultics for the several keys in a plurality of banks or levels as is customary. EX- cept as related to this point of convenience, the chambers, 1. 1, may b egarded as constituting a unitary cham er. These mary pneumatic chambers are mounte in a unitary structure comprising two vertical end chambers, 2, 2, which connect and relativelyposition the primary pneumatic chambers 1 1, which open into said end chambers. ach of the primarv pneumatic chambers is partitioned intermediate its ends at any oint which ma be "selected for dividing etween thehig er and lower parts, commonly distinguished as treble'and has respectively. From the exhaust air chamhers bellows, M, M, air trunks M, M lead to the end chambers, 2, 2, respec tively, their communication therewith being controlled by valves, 4, 4, in the end chambers, respet-tively, mounted for sliding upon the vertical wall thereof over the ports of inletv of said trunks. The unitary structure constituting the pneumatic aetion is strengthened by a longitudinal top hoard, F, whir-lrforms the top wall of the end thamhers. :2. .3, and upon this tophoar there are mounted motor pneumaties, 1'1, .3, and I). 5". eonne ted respeetivelv to the valves, 4, 4, for aetuating them. llaeh of the valves has an operating stem. 4". extending up through the top of the chamber. '3. between the operating lingers, ti. t'r. whieh projeet from the upper walls whieh are the Inn:- ing \valls.-of the pneumaties. 5 and 5", respeetively. The linger, (i, on the pneutnati 5. extends met the end of the valve stem. 4, for operating upon it for llll'llnllllfl the valve downward as the pneumatie is eollapsed. The linger, 6, extends over an adjustable stop, 4;", which is mounted on the stem, 4, andmay he set higher or lower on sa d stem so as to he eueonntered sooner or later Hi the eollapsmp a tion of the pneumatic. 5, the adjustment being, made art-o ding to the extent to whieh it is tlt':-llttl to have the valve, 4, closed by the collapse ol' said pneumatie, 5-, as hereinafter explained. For controlling the motor pneumaties. 7i, .3. a. duct, 7, extends in the top board. F. trom the left-hand end thereof, \\'ltlt'll tXtt'Inls beyond the chamber, :t that end. opening into each of said pneumaties, 5. as een in Fig. 2, and eonneeted at the end in the over- 1 hanging portion of the top board by a lle.\ihle. tube, 8, with a primary pneumatic. tl, mounted in a primary pneumatic chamber. 10, supported on the foundation board, A. A vent for the pneumatic, 9, is provided by means of a duet, 11, leading to a port. [2, in a valve llltltli, 13, supported on said l'ouudation board said port being controlled by a valve, 14, fulerumed on the foundation board and terminating for manual operation ata convenient point at the trout ot' the manual. For controlling the motor pneumaties. ii", 5", duets, l5, l5, are formed in the top board. l"'-', leading from the lel't-.
hand overhanging end thereof to said pneumaties respectively, and eonneeted lt'speetively at said overhanging ends by flexible tuhes, l6, l6, leading-to the primary pneuniaties. 17, 17, in the prin'iary pneumatic chamber, 10, from which vent duets, 18, 18 lead to the ports in a block, 13, controlled by valves, 19, It), res ectively, positioned and fulcrnmed similary t0 the v alve, 1-l, and terminating similarly at points convenient for manual operation at the front. of the instrument. The primary pneumatic chamher, 10, is connected with the left-hand ex haust air chamber bellows, M, by an air trunk, 20. From the construction thus far described, it will be understood that when the operator operates the valve. 14, for opening the vent port, 12, venting the pneumatic, 9, both the motor pneumaties, 5, 5, will collapsed and fully close the valve, 4, shutting oll' air eommuuieation from the entire primary pneumatic aetion. putting said action out of service and preventing automatic plavin". It will also be. lllltltl .t(l(l(l that. upon operating the left-hand valve, ll). venting the primary pneumatie whieh controls the letthaud motor pnemnatie. fr, the valve, 4. at that end will he operated for closing partiallv. to an extent determined by the adjustment of the stop, l", on the valve stein. 4, thereby restricting the movement of air from the primary aetion and with the etl'eet of softening the bass action; and that when the right-hand valve, 19, is imilarl' operated. similar ell'eet is produced by means of the right-hand motor pneumatic; 5, partiallv elos|u; the right-hand valve, 4. and softening the treble aelion.
l .\s usual in automatic playing devices employing an air motor for aetuating the l rolls to propel the controller sheet. the same l souree otsin-lion is made availa le for the, 3 |lllt'lll\l:tllt artion and for the motor. For 1 this purpose. an air trunk. it. leads to the l motor. its ultimate eonnection being, through an intermediate means. \vbieh will he now" tlt. tlil)t'tl. with the right-hand exhaust air ehamher bellows. .\l'. the intermediate conmtions comprise a governing device eonl. 'llll 'j of a hpl'lll "t'XP:tlltlttl bellows. .32, whieh eommunieates by means of an air trnnlt. '3 with m'tltl right-hand bellows. M. and by Htnlis ol' an air-trunl\'. it. with a. valve ehandier. J3. whieh in lllHl i "onneeted with the air tlllltlt. it. thus eompleting the line of onmmnieation from the ehamher, M. to the motor. .l. Within the "o\el'nu|' bellows. 2;. there is a tlexible valve, 'J i. whieh controls the port. 2T, by which said bellows eommunieates with the air trunk, 1.4. This \alve 'lt', is preferably a sprinp fastened at ne end to thefixed board, 28, ot the bellows. 23, through which said port. 27, leads to the air trunk, it, and extending longitudinally over said port, which is itself a long narrow slit adapted to heelosed gradually by the. spring valve, 26 when the latter is depressed at its free end and thereby straightened out along the surfaee of the board, 28, over the said slit 01 port, 27.
An adjusting screw, 29, is set. through the moving member of the bellows, 22, for encounter with the. free end of the spring valve, 27, to depress it to its seat by the collapse of said bellow, the outer end of the screw being accessible for manipulation to vary the extent of seating of the valve relatively to such collapse. ,Both the passage for connection with the chamber, M, and that for connection with the motor are conveniently formed in the fixed board, 28, of said bellows, 22, and both of said passages,- whose portions contained in the board are denoted by reference numerals, 23' and 24", respectively, are open through to the back side of the board,-that is, the side opposite the moving member of the bellows-4n ports, 23" and 24", respectively, and a hood formin r a by-pass chamber, 30, is mounted on said side of the board, 28, into which both of said ports, 23" and 24*,opemso that the passages, 23 and 24, are connected through the by-passchamber independently of their connection through the bellows, The said connectionthrou h the by-pass chamber is controlled by a va ve,31,locat:ed in the bypass chamber and closing the port, 24". This valve is operatively connected with a pneumatic, 32, mounted outside the by-pass chamber, and having astem or plunger, 33, for operatively connecting it with the valve, extending through the wall of the by-pass chamber loosely enough for movement therein and for affording a restricted air connnunication between the by-pass chamber and the pneumatic. The pneumatic is provided with an unrestricted air communication by means of a passage, 33, formed in the inclosing wall of the pneumatic and having connected with ice , valve,
' from the governor to the motor,
it an air duct, 34, which leads to vent-controlling means hereinajter described. The spring, 55. for yieldingly expanding the bel lows, 22, is preferably located outside said bellows, reacting between the stops, 35 and 35", on the fixed and rzoving walls, respec tively, of said bellows.
Upon considering the governor devices ,above described, it may be understood that whatever be the exhaust air tension produced in the right hand chamber, M, by the pumpers, the resulting tension operative upon the motor, J, will be determined by the tension of the spring, because whenever its resistance is overcome so far as to close the valve, 26, no-further exhaust action is communicated to the motor. The well understood purpose of this governing expedient is to maintain a governed speed of the motor which may be subject to regulation at will for governing the rate of playing, such governmentbeing effected by means of a 36, in the valve chamber, 25, which is interposed as noticed in the passage leading such valve, 36, being operated at will to close or open to any desired degree the port of communication of the trunk, 25, with the valve chamber, and having connections, 37, extending to a finger-piece, 38, for sliding the valve to vary said opening 11nd regulatethe speed of playing. \Vhen t-lie roll-operating mechanism is reversed for rewinding or re-rolling the controller sheet after completing the playing or for returning to a previous point for repeating any portion of the music, it is desirable that the motor should operate at the maximum speed which can be given it by the degree of exhaust tension maintained in the chamber, M, and that the pneumatic action should be cut oil from the exhaust air chambers during such re-rolling so as to prevent playing at that time. In order that these results may be effected without detail attention to them separately by the operator is the purpose of the governing devices and connections described; and for carrying out this purpose, the motor-operating mechanism has the reversing lever. 37, (whose operation for reversing the direction of driviug,-that is, for shifting the action from playing to rewinding,-is familiar and need not be explained) mounted as a lever arm extending off at right angles from the mov: ing wall, 39, of a motor pneumatic, 40, the mechanism being adjusted by the reversing lever for operating the take-up roll for playing when the pneumatic, 40, is collapsed, and for rewinding when said pneumatic is expanded. At any convenient position, and as illustrated, in the foundation board, A, whose primary pneumatic, 43,, is connected by an air tube, 46, with the source of the air trunk, M. there is mounted a primary pneumatic chamber, 41, whose primary pneumatic, 41, is connected with its valves, 42 and 43, for closing the connnunication with the chamber when the pneumatic is expanded and opening such communication when the pneumatic is collapsed. From the port controlled by the valves, the duct, 44, leads to two connections, one with a duct, 45, leadin to the motor pneumatic, 40, the other wlth a duct, 34, above mentioned leading to the pneumatic, 32. so that both of.said motor pneumatics are controlled by the primary pneumatic, 41*. The vent duct, 48, for controlling the primary pneumatic, ll, leads from the port controlled by the valve, 14. From this construction, it will be understood that when the operator operates the valve, 14, for open ing the port w llCll it controls, the vent thereby afforded through the duct, 11, to the primary pneumatic, 9, causes the operation of both the motor ncumatics, 5, 5, efiecting complete shut-oft y means of the-valves, 4-, 4, of air communication to the pneumatic action, and by means of the vent afforded through the duct, 48, to the primary pneumatic, 41, causes inflation of the motor pneumatic, 40, operating thereverse lever for shifting the driving train from the take up to the re-wind roll, and the inflation simultaneously of the pneumatic, 32,0ausing the valve, 31, to be opened, thus'establishing direct communication by way of the bv-nass chamber, 30, from the exhaust air chamber, M, to the motor giving the motor action free from control of the overning device; that is, at ma ximum speci That is to say, from the opening of said valve, 14, there simultaneously results, first, the shutting oil of the pneumatic action preventing playing; second, the shifting of the driving connection from the take-up to the rewind roll causing rewinding; third, the releasi-n of the motor from all government, causing it to act at maximum speed during rewinding.
I claim 1. In an autopneumatic playing meehanism for musical instruments, in combination with the pneumatic action, take-up and re-roll mechanism and reversing means tor the same, a shut-off valve for the pneumatic action, a motor pneumatic opcratively connected with the reversing means; a motor pneumatic operatively connected with the shut-off valve; primary puemnatics for controlling said motor pneumatics respectively, and a manually operable vent valve controlling both said primary pneumatics.
2. In an autopneumatic playing mechanism for musical instruments, a pneumatic action comprising a primary pneumatic chamber; an air trunk comm'unicating with such chamber; a shut-off valve controlling such communication; two motor pneumatic-s.
both non-interferingly connected with such shut-otf valve for operating the same; means limiting the valve actuating action of one of the-motor pneumatics adapted to cause the valve to be only partially closed by said pneumatic; primary pneumatics for controlling said motor pneumaties respectively, and manually operable vent valves for the primary pneumatics.
3. In an autopneumatic playing mechanisurfor musical instruments in combination with a longitudinally extended primary pneumatic chamber and primary pncuumtics therein, said chamber being partitioned intermediate its ends; air trunks connnunicating with the two end portions respectively; a shut oll' and regulating valve for controlling each of said communications; :1 shutoff pneumatic and a regulating pneumatic operatively connected with each of said valves; means limiting the action of the regulating pncnmatics to cause them to only partially close the rcs wrtive valves; separate pr1- mary pneulnalics for controlling each of said regulating pncumatics; a single primary pneumatic for controlling both the shut-off pncumatics, and manually operable vent valves for controlling said three pri mary pncumatics' respectively.
4. In an autopucumatic playing mecha nism for musical instruments, exhaust mech anism; a pneumatic action comprising a pri ma'ry pneumatic chamber; an a1r passage constituting means of communication from said exhaust mechanism to such chamber; a. valve controlling such communication; a, motor pneumatic operatively connected with such valve: adjustab e means [or positively limiting the Val\'r-cl i-i:ig action of the 1nd tor pneumatic; a primary pneumatic for controlling such motor pneumatic, and a manually operable vent valve for controlling the primary pneumatic.
5. In an autopneumatic playing mechanism, in combination with a pneumatic action, a shut-otl valve for the same; a motor pneumatic for operating such shut-oll valve: a primary pneumatic for controlling such motor pnemnatie: an exhaust air chamber; a pneumatic motor; take-up and rc-roll mechanism operated thereby; a reversing means for said mechanism; a motor pneumatic which operates d reversing means; a governing, device between the exhaust air chamhcr and the motor; a by-pass around said governing device; a valve which controls such lay-pass a motor pneumatic which operates such valve; :1 primary pneumatic which controls both the, Iastanenlioned motor pneumatic and the motor pneumatic which operates the reversing means, and a man..all v perable -vent' valve for controlling both said primary pnemnatics.
t'. In an autopneumatic playing n1echanism, in (.(lllllJllltltlOfl with a pneumatic action having a partitioned primary pneumatic. chamber; shut-off valves controlling the partitioned portions respectively; separate motor pneumaties for operating said shut-oil valves: a primary pneumatic controlling both said motor pneumatics; an exhaust air chamber: a pneumatic motor: take up and re-roll mechanisms operated thereby; a rcvcr ing means for said mechanism; a motor pm'umatio operatively (()fill((ll(l\\'lbll said reversing means; a governing device between the exhaust air chamber and the motor; a by-pass around said governing device; a valve,vvhich controls such by-pass; a motor put-lunatic which operates said valve; a primary pneumatic which controls both the last-mentioned motor pneumatic and the motor pmiumatic which operates the r versing means, and a manually operated vent; valve for controlling both said primary pneumatics.
T. In an automatic playing mechanism, in combination with a pneumatic action, a shutofl' valve for the same and means for actuating it; an exhaust air chamber; a pneumatic motor; take-up and rc-roll mechanism operated thereby; a reversiug'means for said mechanism; a motor pneumatic which operates said reversing means; a governing device between the exhaust and the air motor chamber; a by-pass around said governing device; a valve whichcontrols said by-pass; a motor pneumatic which operates such valve; a primary pneumatic which controls both the last mentioned at Chicago, Illinois, this 7th day of August, motor pneumatic and the motor pneumatic 1909.. which 0 crates the reversing means, and a T manuall} operable vent valve for controlling CHARLES, AVRREi said primary pneumatic. In the presence of In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set JULIA S. ABBOTT, my hand, in the presence of two. Witnesses, (3114s. S. BURTON.
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