US727514A - Musical instrument. - Google Patents

Musical instrument. Download PDF

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Publication number
US727514A
US727514A US7627001A US1901076270A US727514A US 727514 A US727514 A US 727514A US 7627001 A US7627001 A US 7627001A US 1901076270 A US1901076270 A US 1901076270A US 727514 A US727514 A US 727514A
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United States
Prior art keywords
bow
strings
contact
string
bar
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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
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US7627001A
Inventor
Frank Hilliard Watson
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.)
JOSIAH C MCKINNEY
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JOSIAH C MCKINNEY
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Priority to US7627001A priority Critical patent/US727514A/en
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10CPIANOS, HARPSICHORDS, SPINETS OR SIMILAR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ONE OR MORE KEYBOARDS
    • G10C3/00Details or accessories
    • G10C3/02Cases
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10CPIANOS, HARPSICHORDS, SPINETS OR SIMILAR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ONE OR MORE KEYBOARDS
    • G10C3/00Details or accessories
    • G10C3/26Pedals or pedal mechanisms; Manually operated sound modification means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G10MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS; ACOUSTICS
    • G10CPIANOS, HARPSICHORDS, SPINETS OR SIMILAR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ONE OR MORE KEYBOARDS
    • G10C9/00Methods, tools or materials specially adapted for the manufacture or maintenance of musical instruments covered by this subclass

Description

'No. 727,514; v PATENTED MAY 5, 1903.

F. H. WATSON. MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.

APPLICATION FILED SEPT. 23, 190;. .NO KODEL. 5 SHEETS-SHEET 1.

m: NORMS vzvzns co. momumm WASHINGTON. o. c.-

6 SHEETS-SHEET Z.

PATENTED MAY 5; 1903-. P. H. WATSON. MUSICAL INSTRUMENT. APPLICATION FILED SEPT. 23, 1901.

I No. 727,514.

: 0 MODEL.

Wiigzsscs No. 727,514. 4 PATENTED MAY 5, 1 903. I

P. .H. WATSON.

MUSIG'AL INSTRUMENT. v 'APPLIOTAT ION IILED SEPT. 23.1901,

10 MODEL. 5 SHEETS-$31131 3.

No. 727,514. 'PATENTBD MAY 5, 1903.

- F. H. WATSON.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.

APPLIUATIOR FILED SEPT. 23. 1901.

10 MODEL.

No. 727,514. f PATENTED MAY 5, 190a.

" F. H. WATSON.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.

APPLICATION rum) snrrr. 2a. 1901. V 10 110mm.- s sums-sum a.

Tn: scams runs 60. Puma-Lima. WASHINGTON, o. c.

UNITED STATES Patented. May 5, 1903.

PATENT OFFICE.

FRANK HILLIARD WATSON, OF LEXINGTONQTENNESSEE, ASSlG-NOR OF ONE-HALF TO JOSIAH O. MCKINNEY, OF LEXINGTON, TENNESSEE.

' M usleAL lN STRU I VI ENT.

SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters: Patent No. 727,514, dated May 5, 1903.

Application filed September 23,1901. enate-ta. (No model.) i

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, FRANK HILLIABD WA SON, a citizen of theUnited States, residing at Lexington, in the county of Henderson and- State of Tennessee, haveinvented a new and useful Musical Instrument, of which the following is a specification.

My invention relates to certain improve: ments in musical instruments, and particularly to that type of pianos in which the strings are vibrated by a bow, as distinguished from the usual hammer-blow.

An object of the invention is to provide improved means for moving the bow intooperative operatiorrwith any desired string and to prevent any excessive pressure between the two. Afurther object is to prevent contact of the bow with any strings not selected by the player.

A still further object is to provide for the softening of thenotes and to place any tone under the full control of the player, the latterhaving absolute control ofevery sound from the beginning to the end of the note.

A still further object of the invention is to provide for the production ofharnionics by arresting the vibration of the strings midway of their length and causing a separate vibration of the ends of the strings on each side of the center. a

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved form of endless bow of substantialcharacter by the employment of leather or material of similar quality as a'base for the hair or other strands which make contact with the strings. V

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved mechanism for actuating the endless bow through the medium of pedals.

With these and other objects in iew the invention consists in the novel construction and combination of parts hereinafter described, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

In the accompanying drawings, Figure l is a longitudinal sectional elevation on the line 1 l of Fig. 2 of a musical instrument constructed in accordance with my invention. Fig. 2 is a transverse sectional elevation of the same onzthe line2 2 of Fig. 1. Fig. 3 is a View similar to Fig. 1, illustrating the arrangement and disposition of the string-engaging bars and damper-actuating mechanism constituting the expression attachment, the strings and bow being omitted for the sake of clearness. Fig. 4 is a sectional plan View, on an enlarged scale, on the line 4 40f Fig. 1. Figs. 5, 6, and 7 are detached views of details of construction more specifically referred to hereinafter. Fig.8 is a detached perspective view of a fragment of the bow, illustrating the method of constructing the same. Fig. 9 is a longitudinal sectional elevation through the center of the pedal-operated shaft, illustrating the construction of the bow-actuatingmechanism.. .Fig. 10 is a transverse sectional elevation of the same, on a somewhat larger scale, on the line 10 10 of Fig. 9. Fig. 11-is a detail perspective view of a portion ofthe actuating mechanism.

The instrument is of the I same size and shape as an upright piano or grand square, the upright form being deemed preferable.

15 designates a suitable casing having at its rear the usual upright frame 16, to which are secured the sounding-board 17, the stringframe 18, and the wrest-plank 19. The base and treble strings 20 are, as usual, secured at their lower ends to hitch-pins 21 in the string-frame, and their upper ends are se' cured to tuning-pins 22, passing through openings in the string-frame and engaging in the wrest-plank. The sounding-board is provided with a continuous bridge 23, over which all of the strings in the upper, middle, and base register are guided.

Depending from the upper portion of the string-frame are arms 25, to which is secured a guard-rail 26, which extends completely across the string-frame between the strings and the sounding-board, but notin contact with either. The bar 26, as illustrated more clearly in Fig. 5, is channeled, being provided with upper andalower outwardyl-projecting flanges 27,forming supports for guardspace between each two strings and itsperiphery extending beyond the line of the string and serving as a guard to prevent contact between the bow and string except in rollers 28, a guard-roller being placed in the such cases where the performer causes the depression of the bow between two adjacent guard-rollers to move the bow into contact with a particular string. Each roller is provided with an internal bushing 29, of felt, buckskin, or other sound-deadening material, and through the center of the bushing extends a hardened and polished steel spindle 30, the opposite ends of which are seated in vertically-alined recesses 31, formed in the upper and lower flanges of the guard-rail. The spindles are held in proper position by blocks 32, and the rollers owing to the bushings 29 will rotate noiselessly upon such spindles.

Extending longitudinally of the casing and in front of the strings is an action-supporting bar 34, which serves to support the stringselecting plungers, the dampers, and all of theintervening operating mechanism extending between the plungers, the dampers, and the finger-keys. The upper edge of the bar 34is provided with a number of transverselydisposed slots 35, equal to the number of strings, a slot being arranged in direct alinement with each string. In each slot is guided a slide or plunger 36 of a construction more clearly illustrated in Fig. 7. Each plunger comprises an outer portion provided with cars 37, perforated for the reception of the spindle 38 of a bow-depressing roller 39, and the shank 40 of such outer portion is guided within a slot 41 in the main body portion 42 of said plunger, the two parts being held in proper relative position by a pin 43, carried by the portion 42 and extending through a slot 44 in the outer portion. The two sections are held slightly apart by a compression-spring45,surroundingaguiding-pin carried by the outer section and adapted to a suitable opening formed in the portion 42. All of the slides or plungers are held from vertical movement by a plate 46, secured to the top of the bar 34, and each plunger is normally held with its roller out of contact with the how by a spring 47, carried by the supporting-bar and extending into a slot or recess formed in the under side of the portion 42. When a plunger is moved inwardly bythe mechanism hereinafter described, its roller 39 presses the bow into contact with a selected string, the movement being very small, as all of the parts are adjusted as closely as possible without being in actual contact.

To brackets 49, depending from the lower portion of the bar 34, are secured levers 50, the keyboard ends of which are connected by adjustable rods 51 to one arm of bell-crank levers 52, fulcrumed at 53 to the action-supporting bar and having their upper arms in contact with the ends of the plungers. A

small strip 55 of felt or equivalent material is placed at the contact end of each plunger in order to deaden any noise which might result from contact between the bell-crank lever and said plunger.

At the rear of the action-supporting bar 34 are brackets 56, to which are pivoted dampers 57, normally held in contact with the strings by springs 58, and the lower end of each damper-carrying lever is engaged and operated by an arm 59, projected upwardly and rearwardly from the end of the lever 50.

The finger-keys are of the construction employed in the ordinary piano and at their rear ends are provided with vertically-ar ranged fingers 61, adapted to engage with the under side of the levers 50, an upward movement of the fingers, resulting from a depression of the finger-keys, being transmitted to both the plunger and damper, effecting a depression of the roller carried by the plunger, the bow being moved into contact with the selected string and the damper at the same time being moved from contact with said string.

Mounted in upper and lower ball-bearings 63 at one end of the casing is a vertically-disposed shaft 64, carrying at its upper end a grooved pulley 65, over which passes the endless bow 66. The bow is guided across the instrument immediately in front of the keys by the wheel 65 and by an auxiliary wheel 67, carried by a suitable shaft at the opposite end of the casing. In order to hold the bow taut, a take-up wheel 68 is employed in connection with the pulley 67, as shown more clearly in Fig. 4. The bow is traveled continuously in the same direction by pedal-operating mechanism connected by a link belt 69 to a sprocket-wheel 70 on the shaft 64.

At the front of the casing is a frame including suitable standards 72, supporting a horizontally-disposed shaft 73, on which is secured a small fly-wheel 74. Secured to the shaft on each side of the fly-wheel are flanged disks 75, with the inner surface of which friction-dogs 76 are adapted to'be engaged. The dogs 76 are arranged in diametrically opposite pairs, each pair being pivoted to a flanged sleeve IIO 77, mounted loosely on the shaft 73, the dogs being pressed into frictional contact with the flange of the disk by small compressionsprings 78, situated at one side of their pivotpoints. To the sleeve 77 is secured a strap 79, the strap being wound around the sleeve and then connected at its lower end to a suitable pedal 80, extending out through an opening in the lower front portion, as shown more clearly in Fig. 2. cured the inner end of a spiral spring 82, wound around the shaft in a direction opposite to the turns of the belt 69 and having its outer end secured to the frame 72.

The disks, sleeves, pedal-straps,and springs are duplicated, a set being situated on each side of the fly-wheel and aseparate pedal being connected to each, so that a continuous and uniform rotation of the shaft may be attained. One of the disks 75 is provided with sprocket-teeth for the reception of the belt 69 and serves to transmit to the shaft 64 the necessary means for the operation of the bow.

In the manufacture of the bow a strip of leather of the required length is provided on one face with a sufficient number of hairs to answer the purpose, the ends of each hair being passed through an opening in the leather and secured in place by a backingstrip 91, which may also be of leather, the two strips being glued together and securely holding the ends of the hairs.

In the operation of this instrument the bow is held in contact with a selected string during all the time the finger-key is held in the depressed position, and in order to vary the tone and to increase or decrease its value and to produce harmonics I employ certain expression attachments, which may be moved into contact with the various strings at different points in their length, and provision is also made for the removal of all of the dampers from the strings, so that they will continue to vibrate after the finger has been removed from the key.

At the front of the lower portion of the dampers is arranged a bar 100, the opposite ends of which are carried by bell-crank levers 101, mounted in suitable brackets in the casing and connected by intervening levers 102 and 103 to a knee-swell 104..

In the lower portion of the casingat a point in line with and adjacent to the soundingboard bridge is a bar 105, having a soft felt surface for contact with the strings, said bar being carried at its opposite ends by pivoted levers 107, adapted to suitable brackets 108 in the casing, one of said levers being connected by intervening levers 109 and 110 to a knee-swell 111. The depression of this bar softens the tones without materially interfering with the vibration of the strings.

112 designates a harmonic-bar extending across the strings about midway of the length of each string. The opposite ends of this bar are carried by levers 113, one of which is connected by intervening levers 114 and 115 to a pedal 116. The contact of this bar with the strings results in the production of a harmonic, a combination of tones within itself, each end of the string vibrating separately and resulting in the production of a soft and sweet tone, which could not be produced by a piano operated by hammers in the ordinary manner.

At one end of the casing is pivoted a rod 117 connected to a movable knob 118 at one end of the keyboard. The upper end of this rod is provided with a box or clasp 120, in which is held a block of resinous material 121, which may be moved into contact with the bow for the well-known purpose.

The instrument as constructed gives to the performer full control over every note from the beginning to the end of the vibration, and each note may begin very softly and gradually increase to its fullest capacity, as distinguished from the piano-action, in which the volume of sound is greatest immediately after the hammer-stroke and then gradually de creases, the performer having no control over the note after the hammer has been forced into contact with the string.

While the construction herein described is the preferred form, it is apparent that many changes may be made in the form and proportions and in minor details of construction without departing from the spirit or sacrificin g any of the advantages of my invention.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim is 1. In a string instrument, a bow, means for operating the same, plungers formed in sections and having a yielding connection between them, and finger-keys for moving the plungers into engagement with the bow.

2. In a string instrument, a bow, means for operating the same, plungers formed in sections and having a yielding connection between the sections, finger-keys, means operatively connecting the finger-keys to the plungers to eifect a movement of the latter against the bow, and means independent of the finger keys for returning the plungers to initial position after each operation.

3. In a string instrument, a bow, means for operating the same, a plunger having twosections or members, a spring situated between the same to permit yielding of said sections or members, and finger-keys operatively connected to said plungers.

4. In a string instrument, a bow, means for operating the same, a flanged guard-rail situated below the strings and extending entirely across the scale, said rail having alining notches in its upper and lower flanges, spindles seated in said notches and supported both laterally and vertically therein, removable supporting-blocks 32 for holding said spindles in position, guard-rollers mounted on said spindles, a yielding and sound-deadeningbushing carried by each roller for contact with a spindle, and means for moving the bow into contact with the strings.

In testimony that I claim the foregoing as my own I have hereto affixed my signature in the presence of two witnesses.

FRANK I'IILLIARD WATSON.

Witnesses:

G. W. GOFF, D. E. SooTT.

US7627001A 1901-09-23 1901-09-23 Musical instrument. Expired - Lifetime US727514A (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2737840A (en) * 1951-11-23 1956-03-13 Gen Dynamics Corp Musical instrument employing tape recording
US2983177A (en) * 1958-05-23 1961-05-09 Meridan Corp Electronic piano

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2737840A (en) * 1951-11-23 1956-03-13 Gen Dynamics Corp Musical instrument employing tape recording
US2983177A (en) * 1958-05-23 1961-05-09 Meridan Corp Electronic piano

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