US123969A - Improvement in musical instruments - Google Patents

Improvement in musical instruments Download PDF


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US123969A US123969DA US123969A US 123969 A US123969 A US 123969A US 123969D A US123969D A US 123969DA US 123969 A US123969 A US 123969A
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    • G10D13/00Percussion musical instruments; Details or accessories therefor
    • G10D13/01General design of percussion musical instruments
    • G10D13/08Multi-toned musical instruments with sonorous bars, blocks, forks, gongs, plates, rods or teeth


Improvement in Musical instruments:
Patented Febn 20, 1872.
Spccilication forming part of Letters Patent No. 123,969, dated February Q0, 1372.
To all whomy it may concern:
Be it known that I, AUGUSTUS YOUNG, of the city and county ot' Norfolk and State of Virginia, have invented certain new and useful ImprovementsinMusicalInstruments,of which the following is a full, clear, and exact description, reference being had to the accompanying drawing and to the letters of reference marked thereon making part of this specification, in which- Figure l is a vertical sectional view of my improvement. Fig. 2 is a top-plan view, part of the keys being removed.
The-object of my present invention is to furnish an improved musical instrument which shall combine and blend all the advantages of the piano-forte as to the endless variety of its performance and the musical box as to sweetness and accuracy ot' execution. In my improvement the spring-steel bars that produce the musical sounds are arranged in a soundingbox parallel to each other and in octaves in a manner very similar to the arrangement met with in the ordinary musical box; but, instead ot these spring-bars being operated upon mechanically through the action and revolution of a chime barrel or drum, each bar is provided with an independent serrated or toothed disk, and each disk is moved through a spring` attachment, hereinafter described, and which is connected with the key-board of the instrument, and which key-board is in every respect the fac-simile ot' that now used in the pianoforte. Thus, while I secure all the richness and softness ot' note and expression of the musical box, owing to the fact that each springbar represents a distinctive note, and is so arranged as to be sounded by its respective key and none other, and the functions ofthe differentI keys being as independent as are those of the piano-torte, it will readily be seen that any music arranged for the piano can be performed without the slightest alteration on my improved instrument.
The construction and operation of my invention are as i'ollows: A is the sounding-board orbox of the instrument, which is constructed in the usual manner, and is arranged and secured 011 any suitable frame-work-such, for instance, as the style of the piano-tortes. a a are aseries ofsteel spring-bars, which are arranged on and attached to the sounding-board or box A exactly as in the musical box, and on the identical principle 0f the saine. Each bar a represents a distinctive note, also as in the musical box. The number of bars employed, of course, varies, but is always controlled by the number ot' octaves ot the key-board. As in the piano-forte each key acts 011 its respective string, so in my improvement each key has its respective musical bar. D B are a series of serrated disks or toothed wheels, and are secured by suitable bearings to a stationary axle-shaft, B', which is journaled to the sounding-board or frame A, as clearly shown in Fig. 2. This axle B is secured at such relative position to the bars a c that the teeth I) b alone, when the wheels B B are revolved, come in contact with the bars. O is the key-board, and is in every respect constructed precisely as is the key-board of the ordinary organ and piano. Instead, however, ot' the keys c c being at their front section pivoted on vertical rods or other equivalent supports, as in the key-board referred to, in my improvement they rest on sliding bars or plates D D, as clearly shown in Fig. l. These sliding bars or plates D D are constructed ot' any suitable material, and are secured and travel in slotted vertical standards E E, which are permanently secured by bearing-plates E E to the board A. d d are spring lingers or pawls, one of which is permanently attached to each of the sliding bars D, and secured at such an angle as to leave its free end in immediate and direct contact wit-li the ratchet-teeth b b of one of the wheels or disks B. Each of these sliding bars D D is sustained and supported by an independent spring-plate I", so arranged that when the key is struck it allows of the ready depression of the key, but, so soon as the pressure is removed,returns the bar D and its iin ger cl to their normal position. G is a retainingpawl, and regulates the motion and prevents a return movement of the wheel B. The pawls al and G are rendered noiseless by being covered with sheep-skin.
From the foregoing distinct and detailed de` scription ofthe mechanism employed in its construction, the operation of my improvement will be readily understood.
The musical spring-bars a a and the shaft B', having a series of toothed wheels, B B, attached, are all arranged so as to leave the teeth b b of one of the wheels in such contact with its bar a as to cause it to be acted upon each time the wheel is moved precisely as in the piano-forte action. Whenever any hammer is moved through the action of its key, it strikes its respective string. rIhe instrument is played on exactly like the piano. You strike one or more of the keys o c, and each depresses its sliding bar D, which, through its spring-pawl d, turns the wherl B so as to cause one of its teeth b to elevate the bar VWith-Which it is in contact, so as to cause its vibration and the emitting` of the sound of its distinctive note, the brake-pawls G G resting on the teeth b b regulating the movement of the Wheels B B, and preventing their return, as clearly shown in Fig. l. The moment 'the pressure of the finger is removed from the key c, and through which the sliding bar D has been depressed, the spring F instantly elevates it, returning it and its finger d to their normal condition, and the keyin position a-gaiu to be played on.
What I claim as new, and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the UnitedStates, is-
The spring-bars a a', arranged as stated, ratchet-wheels B B, vertical sliding bars D D having spring-pawls d d attached, and springs F G, the Whole being so combined and arranged, in connection with an ordinary keyboard, that as each key is struck its sliding bar shall act directly on the ratchet so as to cause the ratchet-wheel to vibrate its respective bar without the aid ot' a drum or other intermediate mechanism, substantially as described.
In testimonywhereof Ihave signed myname to this specification in the presence of two subscribing Witnesses.
Witnesses J oHN N. DEWELL, G. F. DUT'rEN.
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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2541143A (en) * 1948-09-11 1951-02-13 Zimmerman Harry Toy musical instrument
WO1979000877A1 (en) * 1978-04-04 1979-11-01 M Panevska Musical instrument with spring bars and manual rotary actuators

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2541143A (en) * 1948-09-11 1951-02-13 Zimmerman Harry Toy musical instrument
WO1979000877A1 (en) * 1978-04-04 1979-11-01 M Panevska Musical instrument with spring bars and manual rotary actuators
US4184406A (en) * 1978-04-04 1980-01-22 Panevska Mary A Miniature manually operable musical instrument

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