US2807181A - Musical box construction - Google Patents

Musical box construction Download PDF

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US2807181A
US2807181A US442626A US44262654A US2807181A US 2807181 A US2807181 A US 2807181A US 442626 A US442626 A US 442626A US 44262654 A US44262654 A US 44262654A US 2807181 A US2807181 A US 2807181A
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teeth
comb
block
plates
edge
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US442626A
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Clair O Musser
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KNICKERBOCKER PLASTICS CO Inc
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KNICKERBOCKER PLASTICS CO Inc
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10FAUTOMATIC MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
    • G10F1/00Automatic musical instruments
    • G10F1/06Musical boxes with plucked teeth, blades, or the like

Description

Sept. 24, 1957 c. o. MUSSER 2,807,181
MUSICAL BOX CONSTRUCTION Filed July 12, 1954 2 Sheets-Shee't 1 IHIIIIII is =-I g 72 INVENTOR. (1%)? 0. US$518 ATTORNE y.
United States Patent Ofiiice 2,807,181 Patented Sept. 24, 1957 MUSICAL BOX CONSTRUCTION Clair O. Musser, Los-Angeles, Calif., assignor to Knickerbocker Plastics Co., Inc., North Hollywood, Calif., a corporation of California Application July 12, 1954, Serial No. 442,626
6 Claims. (Cl. 84'95) This invention relates to a musical toy, e. g., in the form of a music box, and more particularly concerns a novel combination of musical comb and clamping plates for use in a music box.
In musical toys or music boxes of the foregoing type, the construction generally includes a musical comb, the teeth, or tines, of which are sequentially arranged and adapted to be successively, or in some cases simultaneously plucked throughout the length of the row in which they are arranged to produce a chosen melody. Music box instruments of this nature usually comprise a means for selectively plucking the free ends of the teeth to produce a tune. One such means commonly employed comprises'a cylinder with projections punched up from the surface thereof, and rotated by means of a driving mechanism to bring the projections on the cylinder into striking contact with'the free ends of the respective teeth of the comb at selected intervals, causing the teeth to' vibrate and produce the desired tunes. Like the notes of a'diatonic scale, the reeds, or teeth, of the comb are struck at various predeterminedtimes to produce the desired melody.
Despite the care exercised in the design and fabrication of such musical combs, it. is often diflicult to obtain the proper tone and volume of tone desired for the various teeth, and once the comb is cut or stamped, the tones producedby the variousteeth are essentially fixed. This isdue to the fact that in the prior art' combs, substantially only the teeth themselves vibrate-when they are plucked, and the base or block of the comb to which the teeth are attached, being fixed to the music box frame, is substantially prevented from vibrating, and hence is unable to'cooperate with the respective teeth of the comb to produce the desired quality and volume of tone.
Itisan object of the invention to' provide a musical comb, the teeth of which produce improved tone and volume of tone.
Another object is to alford a simplified musical comb structure having the foregoing characteristics.
The foregoing objects are accomplished according to the invention by positioningzone or more clamping. plates over the surface of the base orblock of the comb, an edge of each of the clamping plates being positioned in a certain relationship to the fixedends of the comb teeth or tothe ends of the spaces between the comb teeth and adjacent the fixed ends thereof. In: the instant invention, the clamping plates. are free from contact with the comb teeth and hence do not affect vibration of the teeth from this standpoint. The edge of each of the plates adjacent the fixed ends of the teeth is. spaced a relatively short distance from the fixed ends of. the teeth and from the ends of the slots in juxtaposed relation to said teeth. The aforementioned edge of each of such plates is in the form. of a curve having substantially the same characteristics or form as the curve defined by a hne joining the ends of the spaces or slots adjacent the fixed ends of the teeth, i. e., the above curves are substantially congruent and have approximately the same contour with corresponding points on the curves being respectively displaced approximately equal distances.
The displacement of the curved edge of each of the clamping plates at short distance from the correspondingly curved edge of theicomb block, according to theinvention, leaves a curved section of the surface ofthe block adjacent the fixed ends of the comb teeth free. or uncovered by the clamping plates. This section extends substantially from one side of. the comb to the opposite side thereof. I believe that when the comb teeth are setinto vibration, the uncovered or unclainped curved section of the comb block is also set into vibration along with the teeth. Because of this addedmetal thevibration' of the teeth is affected, producing tonesof improved quality and an increase in volume of tone. The design of the clamping plates is such as to give the proper pitch, timbre and loudness to the tones produced by my comb.
Without being bound as to any theory for these improved results obtained-by my structure, I'believe that the specific. design and positioning of the. clamping plate or plates function to produce overtones which improve the tonal quality of the teeth when placed invibration. Also, the design of the clamping plates and their locationrelative to the comb teeth, causing vibration of the uncovered section of the comb block when the teeth are plucked, as described above, increases the volume of the tone without adversely affecting thequality thereof.
The invention will be more clearly understood from the description below of a preferred. embodiment taken in connection with the accompany drawings, wherein- Fig. 1 is a plan view of the comb and clamping plate structure of the invention;
Fig. 1a is a fragmentary section taken on line 1'a1'a of Fig. 1;
Fig. lb is a fragmentary section taken on linelb-lb of Fig. 1;
Fig. 2 is a plan view of my device assembled to form a musical box with the top of the case broken away;
Fig. 3 is a section taken on line 3-3 of Fig. 1 shown partially in full lines for clarity; and
Fig. 4 is a. section taken on line 4 -4 of Fig. 1.
Referring particularly to Fig. 1 of the drawings, numeral 10 represents a musical comb comprising a series of spaced parallel reeds or teeth 12, each fastened at one end 13 to a supporting member or comb block I4. Block 14 is positioned at an acute angle to the teeth. The elongated teeth are of varying lengths to produce the desired tones, the free ends of the teeth being in alignment with each other. It is understood, of course, that the length and location of the various teeth of the comb-may be varied, and some. teeth may have the same length as others. The comb may be formed by punching out the teeth from a single strip of sheet steel or other metal; such as aluminum or Phosphor bronze, and the comb, including the teeth thereof, is of uniform thickness throughout.
A pair of clamping plates 18 are positioned in alignment' with each other and in contact with the opposite sides of the block 14' of the comb. The side edges 20 and 22 and the top edge 24 of each of the plates has substantially the same contour as the corresponding side edges 26 and 28and top edge 30 of'the comb block 14, with the aforementioned edges of the plates spaced spaced a short distance from the fixed ends 13 of the teeth or from their point of attachment to comb block 14. Also, lower edge 36 of the plates 18 is spaced approximately the same distance from the ends 38 of each of the parallel spaces or slots 40 formed adjacent each of the teeth 12. Accordingly, it is noted that edge 36 of the plates 18 is in the form of a continuous curve having the approximate, or approximately the same, curvature or contour as the continuous curve represented by dotted line 42 formed by joining the ends 38 of each of the parallel spaces 40.
I have found from experience, however, that While curves 36 and 42 should have a similar curvature, it is not necessary, and indeed it is preferred that the curves vary somewhat in contour as shown in Fig. 1. In a diatonic scale such as that used for the musical comb of the invention, a half tone is produced between the notes B and C, and between the notes E and F of each octane. To obtain such half tones the curves 36 and 42 are closer together above the ends of the slots 40 between the teeth 12 corresponding to notes E and F, and above the ends of the slots between the teeth corresponding to notes 13 and C, than at other locations along these curves. Thus, it is seen that the distance between opposite points 44 and 46, 48, 56 and points 52 and 54, and points 56 and 58, on curves 36 and 4-2, is smaller than that between other opposite points, such as 60 and 62, and 64 and 66, on other portions of curves 36 and 42. It is noted that the distances between the points on curves 36 and 42 at the half tones, i. e., the distances between, for example, points 44 and 46, and points 48 and 50, are substantially equal. The distance between curves 36 and 42 may be changed as desired to obtain the best results, while maintaining the above noted relationship to produce the half tones. But this distance should preferably be small in relation to the distance between the upper and lower edges 24 and 36, respectively, of the plates 18.
According to the invention, it is seen that a curved section 67 on the opposite surfaces of block 14 is left uncovered or unclamped by plates 13. This section extends substantially from side edge 26 of the block to the opposite side edge 28 of the comb block, and forms additions to the fixed ends of the teeth 12, which stiffen the teeth so as to impart a higher frequency to the teeth than in the case where the plates is entirely cover the comb block 14, to thus improve sharpness of tone. Further, the uncovered curved section 67 at the same time improves tonal quality by introducing harmonics and overtones, and vibration of section 67 of the comb block along with the teeth produces greater volume of tone.
The curves 36 and 42 may be varied slightly in contour one from the other, as described above, and/or the distance between the curves may be altered, to obtain the correct pitch and timbre of tone, less damping and increased amplitude (loudness). The type of metal employed may also affect these properties. Further, the variations in contour between curves 36 and 42 may also result to some extent from imperfect cutting or stamping of the metal. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that a certain amount of trial and error is necessary with respect to the exact relationship between curves 36 and 42, and the positioning of the plates 13 on the comb relative to curve 42 defined by the line joining the inner ends of the slots between the teeth, in order to obtain the results desired.
The above described comb and plate assembly is assembled in a music box by positioning such assembly at one end of a frame 68, see Fig. 2, and fastening the comb and plates 13 to the frame by means of the screws 34. The frame 68 is positioned within a housing or case 70 by means of screws or other fasteners 72 passing through brackets 74 located along the sides of the frame, and into the base 76 of the housing. It is seen from Fig. 4 that the lower plate 18 separates the comb from the end 78 of the frame to which it is attached, and that the comb and its teeth 12 are out of contact with the frame so that the teeth are free to vibrate when plucked in the manner described below.
A substantially rectangular space 89 is formed in the frame by the arms 82 and the cross member 84 thereof, and by the lower end of the comb 10 defined by the free ends 16 of the comb teeth 12. In this space is positioned a. cylinder 86 mounted for rotation on an axle 87 journaled in end members or brackets 88 and $9 on arms 32. The cylinder 36 is generally formed of a sheet metal strip which is rolled into the form of a cylinder, the ends of which are positioned by suitable means in caps 96 carrying the axle 87. While in flat sheet form, projections in the form of flaps or tongues 91 are punched up from the surface of the sheet, so that when the sheet is rolled into the form of acylinder and positioned in frame 68 between end members 88 and 39, these projections are in alignment with the teeth 12 of the comb and are so spaced from each other as to give the desired tones when the drum or cylinder is rotated to bring these projections into contact with the free ends 16 of the teeth. The cylinder 36 is positioned in the frame so that the outer surface of tie cylinder is spaced substantially parallel to a line joining the free ends of teeth 12, such surface being disposed a short distance from the free ends 16 of the teeth so that the projections 91 on the cylinder will pluck the free ends of the teeth when the cylinder is rotated. It is seen in Fig. 4 that cylinder 86 is positioned in the frame so that comb 10 is in a horizontal plane in alignment with a diameter of the cylinder.
A pinion 92 for driving cylinder 86 is fixedly connected axially to axle 87 adjacent one end of the cylinder and the adjacent frame bracket 89. Member 93 for operating the pinion is in the form of a rod 94 Which extends through an aperture 95 in the case 70, the rod having a crank 96 and a handle 97 connected at right angles to the outer end of the crank. The outer end 94' of rod 94, including crank 96 and the handle, is located outside the case 70. At the inner end of the rod a worm gear 98 is provided by winding a wire in the form of a spiral about a portion of the rod. The rod 94 is positioned on a bracket 99 freely mounted on axle 87, so that worm 98 is in meshing engagement with the teeth of pinion 92 for driving same and the cylinder 86, on rotation of crank 96 through manual manipulation of handle 97. Such operation of the handle and crank brings the projections 91 on the cylinder 86 into successive contact with the ends of the various teeth 12 of the comb, to cause vibration thereof and produce the desired tones according to the invention. Rod 94, including the worm 98 carried thereby, is journaled for rotation within the aperture 95 of the case, and is fixed against longitudinal movement by bracket 99.
If desired, instead of employing a pair of the clamping plates 18, I may use only one of such plates, or more than two of these plates positioned against the block 14 of the comb, as described above, the base members or plates being in alignment with each other and fastened to the comb in any desired manner.
While I have described a particular embodiment of my invention for the purpose of illustration, it should be understood that various modifications and adaptations thereof may be made within the spirit of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
I claim:
1. A musical instrument which comprises a plurality of spaced parallel elongated teeth, a supporting member for said teeth, one end of each of said teeth being fixed to said supporting member, the other end of each of said teeth being free, the line joining the ends of the spaces adjacent said one end of each of said teeth defining a first curve, and a clamping plate positioned on said supporting member, one edge of said plate being spaced from said curve away from said teeth, and said edge defining a second curve having approximately the same characteristics as said first curve.
2. A musical instrument which comprises a plurality of spaced parallel elongated teeth, a supporting member for said teeth positioned at an acute angle thereto, one end of each of said teeth being fixed to said supporting member, the other end of each of said teeth being free, the line joining the ends of the spaces adjacent said one end of each of said teeth defining a curve, and a clamping plate positioned on said supporting member out of contact with said teeth, said plate being displaced from the fixed ends of said teeth and leaving a curved section of the surface of said supporting member uncovered by said clamping plate, said curved section being located between said curve and said clamping plate.
3. A musical instrument which comprises a plurality of spaced parallel elongated pluckable teeth, a frame, a block for supporting said teeth, said block being positioned at an acute angle to said teeth, one end of each of said teeth being attached to said block, the other end of each of said teeth being free to vibrate, the edge of said block formed by the line joining the ends of the spaces between said teeth defining a first continuous curve, a clamping plate positioned on said block, said plate being out of contact with said teeth and one edge of said plate being spaced from said edge of said block, said plate edge defining a second continuous curve which is substantially congruent to and has the approximate curvature of said first curve, and means for securing said supporting member and said clamping plate in said frame.
4. A musical instrument which comprises a frame, a musical comb, said comb including a plurality of spaced parallel elongated pluckable teeth of varying lengths forming a diatonic scale, said scale including a series of half tones, a block for supporting said teeth, said block being positioned at an acute angle to said teeth, one end of each of said teeth being integrally attached to said block, the other ends of said teeth being aligned with each other and free to vibrate, the edge of said block formed by the line joining the ends of the spaces between said teeth defining a first continuous curve, a pair of clamping plates positioned in alignment on opposite sides of said block, said plates being out of contact with said teeth and one edge of each of said plates being spaced from said edge of said block, the edges of said plates each defining a second continuous curve having the approximate curvature of said first curve with corresponding points on said curves between the teeth forming each of said half tones being respective- 1y displaced approximately equal distances from each other, said distances being smaller than the distances between corresponding points on other portions of said curves, means for securing said block and said clamping plates in said frame, and means for selectively plucking the free ends of said teeth to produce a tune.
5. A musical instrument, which comprises a frame, a musical comb mounted in said frame and including a plurality of spaced elongated pluckable teeth and a base member, one end of each of said teeth being fixed to said base member, the other ends of said teeth being disposed in a substantially straight line and being free to vibrate, the edge of said base formed by the line joining the ends of the spaces between said teeth defining a first undulating essentially ascending curve, a pair of clamping plates connected in alignment with each other on opposite sides of said comb base, one edge of each of said plates being free from contact with said teeth and being spaced from the edge of said base defining said first curve, said plate edges each defining a second curve having approximately the same contour and following said first curve, leaving an essentially ascending curved relatively narrow section of said comb base surface uncovered by each of said clamping plates, and a block connected to said frame, said comb and plates being connected to said block.
6. A musical instrument, which comprises a frame, a musical comb mounted in said frame and including a plurality of spaced elongated pluckable teeth and a base member, one end of each of said teeth being fixed to said base member, the other ends of said teeth being disposed in a substantially straight line and being free to vibrate, the edge of said base formed by the line joining the ends of the spaces between said teeth defining a first undulating essentially ascending curve, a clamping plate connected to a side of said comb base. one edge of said plate being free from contact with said teeth and being spaced from the edge of said base defining said first curve, said plate edge defining a second curve having approximately the same contour and following said first curve, leaving an essentially ascending curved relatively narrow section of said comb base surface uncovered by said clamping plate, and a block connected to said frame, said comb and plate being connected to said block.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 369,258 Paillard et al. Aug. 30, 1887 2,493,119 Duncan Jan. 3, 1950 2,504,666 Duncan Apr. 18, 1950 2,630,655 Duncan Mar. 10, 1953 2,735,328 Bangs et a1. Feb. 21, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 255,730 Switzerland Feb. 1, 1949
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Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US369258A (en) * 1887-08-30 Chaeles paillaed and louis eecobdon-sulligeb
CH255730A (en) * 1946-10-23 1948-07-15 Wyss & Haefeli Apparatebau Ag Tongue bodies for musical works.
US2493119A (en) * 1947-04-17 1950-01-03 Mattel Creations Inc Musical instrument having pluckable teeth
US2504666A (en) * 1948-05-24 1950-04-18 Mattel Creations Inc Melody comb
US2630655A (en) * 1948-06-05 1953-03-10 Mattel Creations Inc Musical toy vehicle
US2735328A (en) * 1956-02-21 Music comb mounting means

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US369258A (en) * 1887-08-30 Chaeles paillaed and louis eecobdon-sulligeb
US2735328A (en) * 1956-02-21 Music comb mounting means
CH255730A (en) * 1946-10-23 1948-07-15 Wyss & Haefeli Apparatebau Ag Tongue bodies for musical works.
US2493119A (en) * 1947-04-17 1950-01-03 Mattel Creations Inc Musical instrument having pluckable teeth
US2504666A (en) * 1948-05-24 1950-04-18 Mattel Creations Inc Melody comb
US2630655A (en) * 1948-06-05 1953-03-10 Mattel Creations Inc Musical toy vehicle

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