US715307A - Tracker-board for automatic musical-instrument players. - Google Patents

Tracker-board for automatic musical-instrument players. Download PDF


Publication number
US715307A US41276A US1900041276A US715307A US 715307 A US715307 A US 715307A US 41276 A US41276 A US 41276A US 1900041276 A US1900041276 A US 1900041276A US 715307 A US715307 A US 715307A
United States
Prior art keywords
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
Ernest M Skinner
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Aeolian Co
Original Assignee
Aeolian Co
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority claimed from US1900029842 external-priority patent/US667039A/en
Application filed by Aeolian Co filed Critical Aeolian Co
Priority to US41276A priority Critical patent/US715307A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of US715307A publication Critical patent/US715307A/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical Current




    • G10F5/00Details or accessories
    • G10F5/04Tune barrels, sheets, rollers, spools, or the like


No. 7l5,307. I Patented Dec. 9, I902.
{Application filed Dec. 27, 1900.)
(.No Model.)
4 4 v myezzzfar Zrzw 2 4?, 5152221262" UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 715,307, dated December 9, 1902.
Original application filed September 12, 1900, Serial No. 29,842. Divided and this application filed December 27,1900. Serial To all whom it may concern.-
Be it known that I, ERNEST M. SKINNER, a citizen of the United States, residing at Dorchester, in the county of Suffolk and State of Massachusetts, have invented new and useful Improvements in Tracker-Boards for Automatic Musical-Instrument Players,of which the following is a specification.
This invention relates to tracker-boards for automatic musical-instrument players, particularly piano and organ players; and it has for its object, first, to provide a lengthwise extensible and contractible tracker board, and, second, to provide mechanism controlled by the music-sheet for automatically extending and contracting said tracker-board.
To these ends my invention consists in the features and in the construction, combination, and arrangement of parts hereinafter described, and particularly pointed out in the claims following the description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this specification, wherein- Figure l is a vertical sectional view of a suffici ent portion of a piano-player to illustrate the application of my improved trackerboard. Fig. 2 is aplan view of the sectional tracker-board and the music-sheet used in connection therewith. Fig. 3 is an end view of the parts shown in Fig. 2. Fig. 4 is a sectional view of the means for shifting the tracker board sections longitudinally, and Fig. 5 is a top plan view of the parts shown in Fig. 4.
In some classes of mu sical-instrument players wherein the music-playing mechanism is controlled by a perforated music-sheet very long tracker-boards are employed having a large number of note-passages in order that several parts or a large number of notes may be simultaneously played, and in such instruments a correspondingly wide music-sheet is necessarily employed. The paper musicsheets, owing to variations in the weather and other causes, expand and contract or shrink and expand laterally. Such shrinkage or expansion in music-sheets of ordinary width say ten inches, for exampledoes not seriously affect the character of the music; but in (No model.)
the wider sheets referred to the lateral expansion and contraction of the music-sheet is augmented or multiplied, so that the total transverse expansion or contraction of the music-sheet frequently is so great that the note slots or perforations in the music-sheet will fail to accurately register with the corresponding passages or apertures in the tracker-board. To overcome such objection, I have provided a tracker-board that may be lengthwise extended or contracted, so as to cause its passages or apertures to at all times accurately register with the proper note slots or perforations in the music-sheet, and I have also provided means for automatically extending or contracting the tracker-board to accomplish such purpose, as will now be described.
Referring to the drawings, the numeral 1 indicates the vacuum-chamber in which are arranged the primary pneumatics 2, said Vacuum-chamber communicating by ports 3 with the key-pneumatics 4. The key-pneumatics 4 are provided with fingers 5, which are disposed over and arranged to operate the piano-keys 6, and each of the ports 3 is normally closed by a valve 7, the stem 8 of which is connected with the corresponding primary pneumatic, as shown. Each of the primary pneumatics 2 communicates by a passage 9 with a chamber or cell 10, and the latter in turn communicates with a slot or aperture 11 in the top or cover 19 of the tracker-board, over which passes the perforated music-sheet 13. The music-sheet is wound on one of two rolls l4 and is adapted to be unwound therefrom onto the other roll, as usual. The music-sheet is provided with the usual note apertures or perforationslfi, corresponding to the notes to be played, which apertures or perforations, as is usual in devices of this kind, are adapted to register with the proper openings 11 in the trackerboard. From the vacuum-chamber 1 leads a wind-trunk 16, which is connected with any suitable air-exhausting mechanism, by means of which a partial vacuum is maintained in the vacuum-chamber.
The construction above described forms no part of the present invention, the same being fully shown and described in Letters Patent granted to me on the 4th day of December, 1900, No. 663,368, and operates in a usual and well-known manner.
The tracker-board comprises a bar or 1ongitudinal block 17, in the opposite edges of which are formed vertical recesses, grooves, or kerfs constituting the cells 10, before referred to. Said recesses or kerfs are wider at the top than at the bottom, as shown, and those on the one side of the block alternate with those on the other side. Imperforate strips 18 are attached to the opposite sides of the block 17 and a cover-strip 19 is attached to the top of the block, said strips 18 and 19 operating to inclose the open sides and tops of the recesses or kerfs. The upper side of the strip 19 is curved or rounded, as shown that is to say, its upper side is formed on the are of a circleso that the music-sheet will closely contact therewith and at the same time move freely thereover, and the slots or apertures 11 are formed centrally in said cover-strip, there being one such aperture for each note or key-pneumatic. In the bottom of the tracker-board is formed a longitudinal vent-chamber 20, which extends beneath and is common to all the cells 10, and leading from said vent-chamber to the respective cells are ducts or passages 21 of small diameter. The vent-chamber 20 communicates by a duct 22 with the vacuumchamber 1.
The operation of the parts may be briefly described as follows: When a slot or aperture 15 in the music-sheet is caused to register with one of the apertures 11, atmospheric air is immediately admitted through the cell and passage 9 behind the primary pneumatic 2 and expands the latter against the vacuum in the chamber 1. The primary pneumatic in expanding opens the valve 7 and places the key-pneumatic 4in communication with the vacuum-chamber, whereupon the key-pneumatic is collapsed and the pianokey 6 is depressed by the finger 5, thereby sounding the proper note. The moment the slot or aperture in the music-sheet passes over or beyond the slot or aperture 11 in the tracker-board, so as to close the aperture 11, the cell lOis cut 01f from communication with the atmosphere and the air behind or above the pneumatic 2 is exhausted into the vacuum-chamber 1 through the passage 9, cell 10, duct or passage 21, vent-chamber 20, and duct 22, putting the pneumatic in equilibrium, whereupon the atmospheric pressure raises the valve 7, thus shutting off communication between the vacuum-chamber and the key-pneumatic 4 and placing the latter in communication with the atmosphere, whereupon the parts are restored to their normal position.
The general construction and operation of an apparatus with which my extensible and contractible tracker-board may be used having been described, I will now describe such tracker-board and the means for automatically extending and contracting the same.
The tracker-board, preferably constructed in the manner above described, is made in two independent sections 19 and 19 each provided on its opposite sides with cleats or longitudinal ribs 23, that are arranged to loosely slide in fixed guideways 24, whereby said sections are free to longitudinally slide independently of one another. I have shown one of the sections, as 19, provided at its inner end with a tenon 25, that is loosely arranged in a corresponding mortise 26 in the adjacent end of the other section 19 for the purpose of aiding in keeping the two sections in alinement; but this feature is not essential and may be dispensed with. The two sections are provided with note-apertures 11, as before described, and each is provided at its outer end with two supplemental apertures 27 and 28, from which lead two pipes or tubes 29 and 30. The tubes 29 and 30 communicate, respectively, with two pneumatics 31 and 32, arranged in a chest 33, and the interior of said chest communicates bya passage 34 with the vacuum-chamber 1.
The numerals 35 and 36 indicate two bellows, the movable leaf or board of each of which is independently connected to the end of its corresponding tracker-board section by a link 37 or 38, as most clearly shown in Figs. 4 and 5 of the drawings. Two ducts or passages 39 and 40 are formed in the chest 33 and respectively communicate with the bellows 35 and 36, and intersecting said ducts or passages are two transverse ducts or ports 41 and 42, each of which opens at one end to the atmosphere and at its other end into the interior of the chest, which constitutes a chamber 43. To the pneumatics 31 and 32 are attached valve-stems carrying double-acting valves 44 and 45, which control the ports 41 and 42, as will presently appear.
It will be understood that the arrangement just described will be duplicatedthat is to say, there will be one such actuating mechanism connected to the outer end of the sections 19 and 19 The music-sheet 13 is provided at suitable intervals along its opposite edges with perforations 46, which are adapted at certain times to register with the supplemental apertures 27 and 28.
The operation is as follows: As long as the music-sheet is in its normal statethat is to say, is unaffected by the weather-the perforations 46 as they pass over the tracker-board will lie midway between the two apertures 27 and 28, and as said apertures are not uncovered sufliciently to overcome the vents neither of them will operate the bellows 35 and 36. Let it be assumed, however, that the musicsheet has expanded or increased in width. Then the perforations 46 would register with the apertures or passages 28 in the trackerboard sections, admitting air behind the pneu- 'matics 31. The atmospheric pressure would then cause the pneumatics 31 to expand, closing the ports 42 to the atmosphere and putting the latter in communication with the passages 40, whereupon the air would be exhausted from the bellows 36, collapsing the latter, and by means of the links 38 would draw the sections 19 and 19 outward in opposite directions, thus extending the trackerboard. In like manner, should the musicsheet shrink or contract the perforations would register with the apertures or passages 27, thereby operating the pneumatics 32, which in turn actuate the valves 44 and cause the air to be exhausted from the bellows 35, and as the latter collapses the tracker-board sections 19 and 19 are moved toward one another. Whenever the apertures 27 and 28 are closed by the imperforate part of the music-sheet the atmosphere is cut off from behind the pneumatics and the latter are vented through small vents 47, as usual, whereupon the atmospheric pressure forces the valves 44 and 45 inward, closing the communication between the ports 41 and 42 and the passages 39 and 40 and putting the bellows 35 and 36 in communication with the atmosphere.
By the means above described the trackerboard is automatically extended or contracted to compensate forthe expansion or shrinkage of the music-sheet, whereby the noteperforations in the latter will at all times accurately register with the passages in the tracker-board.
I have shown the tracker-board as consisting of but two sections; but it will of course be understood that it may comprise as many separate sections as the character of the music to be played may render necessary or desirable.
Having described my invention, what I claim is 1. A tracker-board divided as to its length and having a section provided with ducts movable relatively to another section also provided with ducts.
2. A lengthwise extensible and contractible tracker-board for automatic musical-instrument players, substantially as described and for the purpose specified.
3. In an automatic musical instrument player, the combination with a lengthwise extensible and contractible tracker-board, of mechanism controlled by the music-sheet for automatically extending and contracting said tracker-board, substantially as described and for the purpose specified.
4. In an automatic musical instrument player, the combination with a tracker-board comprising a plurality of longitudinal sections adjustable lengthwise relatively one to another, of mechanism controlled by the music-sheet for automatically moving said sections toward and away from one another, substantially as described and for the purpose specified.
5. In an automatic musical instrument player, the combination with a tracker-board comprising a plurality of longitudinal sections movable lengthwise relatively one to another each of said sections being provided with two air-inlet passages, two bellows connected with one end of each of said sections and operating when collapsed to move said sections in opposite directions, a vacuumchest communicating with each pair of said bellows, valves controlling the communication between said bellows and the vacuum chamber and between the bellows and the atmosphere,pneu matics controlling said valves, and passages leading from the pneumatics to the air-inlet passages, said air-passages being controlled by supplemental apertures in the music-sheet, substantially as described and for the purpose specified.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand in presence of two subscribing witnesses.
US41276A 1900-09-12 1900-12-27 Tracker-board for automatic musical-instrument players. Expired - Lifetime US715307A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US41276A US715307A (en) 1900-09-12 1900-12-27 Tracker-board for automatic musical-instrument players.

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US1900029842 US667039A (en) 1900-09-12 1900-09-12 Automatic musical-instrument player.
US41276A US715307A (en) 1900-09-12 1900-12-27 Tracker-board for automatic musical-instrument players.

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US715307A true US715307A (en) 1902-12-09



Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US41276A Expired - Lifetime US715307A (en) 1900-09-12 1900-12-27 Tracker-board for automatic musical-instrument players.

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US715307A (en)

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US715307A (en) Tracker-board for automatic musical-instrument players.
US825277A (en) Automatic musical instrument.
US930315A (en) Pneumatic coupler for automatic musical instruments.
US647926A (en) Musical instrument.
US1197574A (en) Automatic musical instrument.
US1422969A (en) Expression device for automatic musical instruments
US667039A (en) Automatic musical-instrument player.
US889467A (en) Expression device for pneumatic musical instruments.
US873214A (en) Autopneumatic music-playing instrument.
US1004839A (en) Music-recording and automatic playing device for organs and like instruments.
US1838328A (en) Automatic musical instrument
US988612A (en) Self-playing musical instrument.
US788293A (en) Automatic piano-player.
US1105046A (en) Note-sheet-guiding device.
US766516A (en) Accenting mechanism for mechanical musical apparatus.
US1966798A (en) Automatic musical instrument
US1139478A (en) Automatic throttling mechanism.
US1009828A (en) Interior piano-player.
US1197573A (en) Automatic musical instrument.
US1183218A (en) Automatic music-sheet tracker.
US1065447A (en) Music-sheet.
US1231739A (en) Automatic violin.
US710097A (en) Valve for piano-players.
US661920A (en) Self-playing musical instrument.
US1040261A (en) Automatic playing attachment for musical instruments.