US552862A - Musical instrument - Google Patents

Musical instrument Download PDF


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US552862A US552862DA US552862A US 552862 A US552862 A US 552862A US 552862D A US552862D A US 552862DA US 552862 A US552862 A US 552862A
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musical instrument
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    • G10D3/00Details of, or accessories for, stringed musical instruments, e.g. slide-bars
    • G10D3/06Necks; Fingerboards, e.g. fret boards
    • G10D3/08Fingerboards in the form of keyboards
    • G10D3/09Fingerboards in the form of keyboards for zithers


(No Model.) 2 Sheets-Sheet 1. S. BLAOKETER.
No. 552,862- Patented Jan. '7, 1896.
1 1 'I 2 i 5 8 fi T a: A 8 I 19 32 .1. g E 3 1. 1 [I s [.1 r
nvenlorf Patented Jan 7, 1896.
i-blesses. 5% /M UNTTEn STATES PATENT Orrlcn.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 552,862, dated January '7, 1896.
Application filed December 8, 1894. Serial No. 531,269. (No model.)
To aZZ whom it may concern.-
Be it known that I, SAMUEL BLACKETER, a citizen of the United States, residing at Gowrie, in the county of \Vebster and State of Iowa, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Musical Instruments; and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.
In playing musical instruments in which the hands are usedas the violin, mouth-organ, & is often very desirable to have some instrument on which an accompaniment can be played, and which can best be done by the feet. Heretofore it has been common to have the feet operate such instruments as a drum or cymbal, in which but a single tone was produced, but such instruments are not always desirable By the use of my inven tion, however, it is not only posible to produce different tones, but also possible to play an accompaniment in any one of several different keys.
Alt-h ough I have shown the invention as applied to one style of stringed instruments, it is evident that it could be adapted for other forms or to other kinds of instruments. By its use the performer can play an accompaniment by the use of the feet, thus leaving the arms and hands free for performing upon the main instrument.
In the accompanying drawings, in which the same reference-numerals indicate corresponding parts in each of the views in which they occur, Figure 1 is a face view of the boards to which the beaters are secured. Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the instrument. Fig. is a vertical sectional view, and Fig. 4 a plan of the dulcimer.
Referring more particularly to the draw ings, 1 indicates the case of the instrument, within which is secured the stringed portion 2, which is preferably in the form of the dulcimer. The dulcimer is made hollow with the ordinary sounding board, upon which are placed the bridges 3 and at. The bridge 3 divides the instrument transversely of the strings into the bass and treble, and the bridges 4: a are placed to one side of the central bridge. Each of the bridges is provided with holes or openings 5, through which a portion of the strings pass, so that a portion of the strings may pass over the tops of some of the bridges and through the openings of the others, and cross intermediate the bridges and thereby be arranged to sound different tones without interfering with each other.
Arranged within the case parallel with the front of the instrument are two boards 6 and 7, on which the boaters are arranged, so that the free ends of the beaters may be caused to strike the desired strings and thereby pro duce the desired tones. One of these boards is provided with the heaters for the treble or upper notes, and the other one is provided with those for the bass. As it generally re quires three tones to produce the chord for the treble, those boaters are made larger than the bass beaters, so that the three arms 8 can be secured on the rock-bars 9 without interfering with each other. These rock-bars are pivoted in suitable bearings 10 on the board, and are arranged in any desired manner, generally one above or in front of the other, as shown in the drawings.
The free end of each of the arms is provided with a head or hammer which is adapted to strike its respective string when operated and cause it to vibrate and produce the desired sounds. By making the arms of different lengths it is evident that when the rock-bar is turned on its pivot all of the hammers of that beater will be thrown against their re spective strings and cause them to vibrate in unison. For the purpose of operating these beaters by means of the feet I provide pedals 11, which are pivotally secured at the bottom of the frame, with one end projecting outside and the opposite end located within the case and provided with the hook 12 or other means, to which is secured a cord or chain 13, the 0pposite end of said cord being connected with the rock-shaft of the beater.
Intermediate the pedals and the heaters are located pulleys 1% over which the cords pass, so that when the outer end of any one of the pedals is pressed down by the foot its cord will be drawn over the pulleys and thereby rotate the rock-shaft on its pivot and cause the hammers to strike the strings. A suitable spring 15 or other means is provided for returning each of the beaters to its original position after the pressure on the pedal has IOI) been removed. As onlya few of the heaters are used in playing the chords in any key, it is not necessary to provide a pedal for each beater, but only enough pedals for the number of heaters that will be used in that key. To make the pedals and heaters interchangeable, as it were, I prefer to detachably secure the cord to the pedal so that it can be removed at any time and another cord put in its place. For this purpose I provide the end of each cord with a series of links 16, which may be passed over the hook and may also be secured to hooks 17 on the rear of the boards 6 and 7 when not in use. By using a suflicient number of links the proper tension of the cords can always he secured, even though they should stretch to a greater or less extent in use. For the sake of convenience I prefer to letter each one of the hooks on the boards 6 and 7, with the letters indicating the chord which will be struck by the different heaters, and then securing the end of the cord when not in use from each beater on its respective hook.
In the drawings I have shown an instrument adapted for playing accompaniments in the chords of D, E, Gr, A, C, Afi D5, and F, as indicated in ascending order at the left-hand or bass side of the instrument. On the righthand or treble side of the instrument will he found the treble chords to correspond with these bass-chords, and also additional heaters for playing partial or intermediate chords.
In using the instrument it is placed 011 the floor in front of the performer with the pedals in convenient reach of the feet. The cords from the heaters to the pedals are then arranged according to the key in which the accompaniment is to be played. For instance, if the accompaniment is to be played in the key of D the pedals are so connected with such heaters that when they are depressed the chords D, A and G- can be sounded as desired. Having thus arranged the instrument it is evident that by placing the feet alternately upon the pedals of the treble and of the bass heaters not only can the proper chords be struck to harmonize with the music being played upon the main instrument, but they can be beaten or operated in perfect time. By means of the partial or intermediate cords suitable changes can be made by operating the respective pedals when necessary. If it is desired to play an accompaniment in another key, the cords of the heaters that will not be used are disconnected from their pedals and those from heaters which will be used are substituted.
By making the instrument as above described it occupies but small space and the case can be made as ornamental as desired, and can easily be carried from place to place and thereby enable a single performer to produce very sweet and melodious music. By arranging the heaters so as to operate keys or openings it is evident that the mechanism could be adapted for use upon windinstruments, as an organ, by providing win dchests and reeds instead of strings.
Having thus described my invention, I claim 1. The combination, with a case, of a musical instrument secured therein, hoards adjacent to the instrument, one side of which boards is provided with heaters ph otally secured thereto, and the other side is provided with a series of hooks,.there being a hook for each beater, pedals secured in the case, and cords secured to the heaters, and adapted to be secured to the pedals or to the hooks upon the boards, substantially as set forth.
2. The combination, with a case, of a musical instrument secured therein and provided with strings, rock-bars which are piv-
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