US565739A - gilmin - Google Patents

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US565739A US565739DA US565739A US 565739 A US565739 A US 565739A US 565739D A US565739D A US 565739DA US 565739 A US565739 A US 565739A
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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


(No Model.) 3 Sheets-Sheet 3.
No. 565,739. Patented Aug. 11, 1896.
""""""""""""" iiiii'ij Wilma II-- lllllllll II- lllll ll llll llfl lll r \A/I'TNEIEEIEIEI Q INVEN'TEIRI wflw UNITED STATES PATENT FFICE.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 565,739, dated August 11, 1896.
Application filed J ly 21, 1894.
T aZZ whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, WILLARD H. GILMAN, of Boston, in the county of Suffolk and State of Massachusetts, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Electrically-Operated Stringed Musical Instruments, of which the following is a specification.
This invention relates to electrically-operated stringed musical instruments, and is an improvement on the apparatus shown and described in Letters Patent of the United States No. 488,520, granted to me December 20, 1892.
My present invention has for its object to improve the construction of the apparatus shown in said patent, which improvements will beherein after described and then pointed out in the claims.
The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which-- Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a portion of the neck of the instrument. Fig. 2 shows a perspective view of the soundingboard and appurtenances. Figs. 3 and 4 show detail views of one of the improved pickers in the two different positions it occupies at the ends of the strokes of the reciprocating bar which carries the picker. Fig. 5 shows a cross-section taken on the line 5 5 of Fig. 3. Fig. 6 shows a sectional view of the neck of the instrument and the case behind the same which contains the electromagnets. Fig. 7 shows an inside perspective view of one of the cases located at the sides of the soundingboard and containing the electromagnets which control the pickers.
The same letters of reference indicate the same parts in all the figures.
I have here shown my invention applied to abanjo, but it will be evident that it is equally applicable to other forms of stringed instruments.
The reference-letter adesignates the sounding-board of the banjo; a, the neck of the same; m the strings, and a the frets. The casing 17 is secured to the rear side of the neck a, and within this case are arranged a series of electromagnets 11 one for each fret on the neck. As here shown, the electromagnets are mounted in a number of rows and one above the other, and they are supported by Serial No. 518,189. (No model.)
brackets Z), suitably fastened within the easing Z). Armatures b are pivoted to these brackets b and extend over the magnets, there being one armature for each magnet. Rods or fingers c are pivotally connected with the ends of the armatures and extend through channels provided for them in the neck at. These rods or fingers have lateral end portions 0, preferably carrying rollers c and standing over the strings a One of these. rollers is over each string at each fret;
The electromagnets b will all be suitably connected with some source of electricity and will be cut in and out by means of perforated music-sheets or other devices, so that the fingers will press the strings in contact with the frets in proper order for producing the desired tune.
A pair of bars cl are clamped to the sounding-board a in such a manner that they extend parallel with each other on opposite sides of the strings a and these bars have projecting arms d as many as there are strings on the instrument, from which arms the pickers are suspended. A box or casing e is located at each side of the soundingboard, and within these boxes or casings are contained a number of electromagnets 6 supported by suitable brackets 6 A11 arma- 8o ture e is pivoted at one end of each bracket and extends over the electromagnet supported by the bracket, and a spring a connects the armature with one part of the bracket and holds the said armature normally away from 8 5 the electromagnet. Each armature has connected with it a bar f, which projects out of the casing eand extends through an opening in one of the bars d. A picker g is pivoted to the outer end of each bar and comprises a hook-shaped end g to engage a string of the instrument and an enlarged central portion 9 An oblong cam-groove g is formed in one side of the enlarged part of the picker, with a boss g at the middle of the groove, 5 and a link 9 rigidly connected with one of the arms d depends therefrom and has an end portion g engaging the groove 9 A spring h is rigidly fastened at one end to an arm of the bar d and at its outer end bears with sliding contact against the picker g. In the normal position of the picker its hooked end g projects over the string, as illustrated in Fig. 3, and the spring h bears against the picker on the inner side of the pivot thereof. WVhen the barf is moved by the action of the electromagnet, the hooked end of the picker is caused to move downward, partly under the string, by reason of the engagement of the link 9 in the groove g and the pressure of the spring it against the inner end of the picker. hen the bar freaches the limit of its movement, the spring h will be on the outer side of the pivot of the picker, and as the said bar is returned by the spring a the hooked end of the picker moves upward again and over the string to its first position by reason of the engagement of the link in the groove and the upward pressure of the spring 7L on the outer side of the pivot. It will thus be seen that as the barf is reciprocated a motion is imparted to the picker exactly similar to that of the fingers of the human hand when picking the strings of the instrument, and therefore I obtain the same effect in the sound of the strings as when the instrument is played by hand.
The electromagnets 6 will be suitably connected with some source of electricity and will be out in and out by means of a perforated music-sheet or other device, so that the action of the pickers will accord with that of the fingers over the frets and the proper strings will be picked.
It is evident that the construction here shown is susceptible of variations, and therefore it is to be understood that I do not confine myself to such construction, but consider myself entitled to all changes wi thin the scope of the invention.
Having thus explained the nature of the invention and described a way of constructing and using the same, though without attempting to set forth all of the forms in which it may be made or all of the modes of its use, it is declared that what is claimed is 1. A stringed musical instrument comprising in its construction the sounding-board or head having guide-bars extending across the face thereof parallel with the strings, slidebars extending through the guide-bars and provided with pickers at one end, electroinagnets at the side of the head and having their armatures connected with said slide bars, the fretted neck having perforations and a plurality of electroinagnets secured to the rear side of said neck, and fingers connected with the armatures of said magnets and extending through and guided by said perforations, the ends of said lingers being extended over the strings between the frets, substantially as described.
2. A stringed musical instrument compris ing the sounding-board or head a and the fretted neck at having openings, the casing l) secured to the rear side of the neck and containing electromagnet-s b the armature Zr", rods 0 pivoted to the armatures and extending through and guided by the openings in the neck and having end portions adapted to depress the strings, the bars (Z clamped to the head, casings c at the sides of the head containing electromagnets c and slide-bars guided in the bars (Z and carrying pickers at one end and connected to the armaturcs oi the magnets 0 substantially as described.
In testimony whereof I have signed my name to this specification, in the presence of two subscribing Witnesses, this 27th day of March, A. D. 1893.
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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2550276A (en) * 1950-02-03 1951-04-24 Lenz Joseph Electric picking device for stringed instruments
US2812681A (en) * 1953-11-13 1957-11-12 Arthur L Carron Electrically operated key-changing harp mechanism
US3146657A (en) * 1963-07-10 1964-09-01 Joslyn John Musical device

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2550276A (en) * 1950-02-03 1951-04-24 Lenz Joseph Electric picking device for stringed instruments
US2812681A (en) * 1953-11-13 1957-11-12 Arthur L Carron Electrically operated key-changing harp mechanism
US3146657A (en) * 1963-07-10 1964-09-01 Joslyn John Musical device

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