US808903A - Autopneumatic musical instrument. - Google Patents

Autopneumatic musical instrument. Download PDF


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US808903A US26371005A US1905263710A US808903A US 808903 A US808903 A US 808903A US 26371005 A US26371005 A US 26371005A US 1905263710 A US1905263710 A US 1905263710A US 808903 A US808903 A US 808903A
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Walter Crippen
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Wilcox & White Co
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Wilcox & White Co
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    • G10F1/00Automatic musical instruments
    • G10F1/02Pianofortes with keyboard


PATENTED JAN. 2, 1906.
a? 5 FJ QS- N0- 808,903. PATENTED JAN. 2, 1906. W. CRIPPEN.
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Specification of Letters Patent.
Patented Jan. 2, 1906.
Application iileri June 5, 1905. Serial No. 263,710.
To all lull/07m it natty concern:
Be it known that I, WALTER CRIP'PEN, a citi- Zen of the United States, residing at New York, in the county of New York and State of New York, have invented new and useful Improvements in Autopneumatic Musical Instruments, of which the following, together with the accompanying drawings, is a specification sufiiciently full, clear, and exact to enable persons IO skilled in the art to which thisinvention appertains to make and use the same.
The object of my present invention is to provide asensitive, simple, and efficient means for automatically producing and controlling 5 a more distinctive accentuation or expression in autopneumatically played piano playing mechanism whereby a musical composition can be accurately reproduced or rendered in character of expression as interpreted by an individual musical artist in respect to the accentuation of selected notes or melody notes and the proper use of the pedal in the blending or sustaining of such notes.
Another object is to provide a mechanism 5 of the above-stated character comprising in a more practical and desirable construction and arrangement a divided pneumatic-action system, autopneumatic air-tension regulators or choker devices with pneumatic-controlling ap- 3 pliances therefor, and sostenuto expressioncontrolling appliances, together with conveniently-operating means for governing the action of the several accent-controlling appliances pneumatically from the music-sheet and manually by the hand of the operator, said mechanism being constructed and organized for operation as more fully explained in the following detailed description, the particular subject-matter claimed being hereinafter defi- 4 nitely specified.
Of the illustrations on the accompanying drawings, (three sheets,) Figure 1 represents a front elevation view, partly in section, of mechanism embodying my invention as applied to an automatic piano-player. Fig. 2 is a sectional elevation showing on larger scale the devices for pneumatically and manually manipulating the expression controlling mechanisms. Fig. 3 is aplan view of the parts 5 shown in Fig. 2. Fig. 4 is a vertical sectional View of a pneumatic music-playing action with my improved accentuation mechanism combined therewith. Fig. 5 is a vertical longitudinal section, on somewhat larger scale, of the accentuation mechanism in detail. Fig. 6 is a side view illustrating the manner of arrangement of the tension-spring for the pneumatic-regulator. Fig. 7 is a transverse vertic'al section at the lower part of the instrument, showing in detail the pedal-operating devices. Fig. 8 and Fig. 9 are sectional details of the pedal-actuating pneumatics and adjacent devices. Fig. 10 is a horizontal sectional view of a manually-operated device for controlling the pedal-actuating pneumatics, and Fig. 11 represents a portion of a musicsheet employed for the mechanism.
This invention, as described, is applicable to autopneumatic piano-players, combination automatic pianos, pneumatic keyboard-playing attachments, and instruments of similar class wherein a pneumaticplaying action, tracker, and perforated music-sheet are employed and in which the scale of the action or the pneumatic wind-space of the instrument is separated by a break or partition into two or more action-divisions and each provided with a separately-operative accentuation means.
The parts necessary to constitute a com- 'iletemusic-playing instrument, and which are not herein shown and described, may be of any well-known or suitable construction.
In the drawings, A denotes the instrument casing or frame; B, the bellows or wind-inducing mechanism, and B a vacuum-chamber bellows. C indicates the wind chest or body supporting the systems of primary and power pneumatics which operate the music-playing action members and comprising in the present instance the primary pneumatics D, connected by duct or pipe at with the tracker T, the primary valved, secondary pneumatics c, and valves E, and the power-pneumatics F, with connections J for operating the action members or striker-lingers G, that operate the piano-keys K, all of which parts may be of any well-known or suitable construction and need not be more particularly herein described.
On Fig. A the spaces marked O are open to the outside air. Those marked V are vacuum-spaces or connected for exhaust by the bellows-action.
The action system is arranged with a break or partition I at a convenient position of its or exhaust-air spacecommunicating with the scale, separating the bass and treble portions as defined operative divisions, such as have been heretofore employed. Each of the respective divisions is provided with accentuation mechanism, as at L and B, Fig. 1, that at the left being for the bass division and pertaining to notes below the break I and that at the right for the treble division and pertaining to notes above the break. According to my invention the windway or passage for the air that effects movement of the power-pneumatics in each of the respective divisions, bass and treble, is provided with an automaticallyacting pneumatic-regulator or means for regulatingthe air-tension exerted on the pneumatics when normally operating, and with a valve and passway by or through which such air-tension can be relieved or modified. For this I employ a by-pass for the regulator, a by-pass valve that is normally closed, a pneumatic or set of pneumatics, having connection for operating said by-pass valve, a conduit pipe or duct from an orifice of the tracker to said pneumatic set, and a perforated musicsheet having special lines of openings for governing the movement of said valve-controlling pneumatics for neutralizing or modifying the effect of the pneumatic-regulator while it regulates the tension or flow of air that gives potential to the power-pneumatics of the music-playing series. This construction is best shown in detail in Figs. 1, i, and 5, wherein WV indicates the air trunk or passage for exhausting air in one division of actionplaying pneumatics F into the bellows or an exhaust-chamber B. The by-pass way 4: and by-pass valve 5 are suitably disposed in relation to the passage, and the pneumatic-regulator 6 is combined therewith with one port above and one port below the by-pass valve, so that by its valve 7 it tends to keep the air that effects movement of the playing-pneumatics at a regulated tension so long as the valve 5 remains closed, that being its normal position. Aspring may be arranged in suitable manner to hold the valve closed.
A pneumatic 10 is connected at 11 by a rod and cranked arm or other convenient connection for operating the by-pass valve 5. Said pneumatic is preferably arranged in a set or group comprising a primary pneumatic and its Valves at 8, a secondary pneumatic and its valves at 9, and the main or power pneumatic 10, supported by the chambered block 12. The interior spaces of the block-casing are connected into the trunk or exhaust-air chamber, as at 13. The primary pneumatic of this set is connected by a flush pipe or duct with an orifice at or near the end of the tracker T.
1 indicates the flushing-pipe for the pneumatic set of the bass division; 2, the flushingpipe for the pneumatic of the treble division, and 3 the flushing-pipe for the pedal-actuating pneumatic devices. These pipes can, if
in any instance desired, lead directly from the tracker; but preferably and as shown they are arranged in combination with a switchvalve and handcontrolling devices, as hereinafter explained.
The tracker is provided with ducts at 1 and 2 for the bass and treble accents and a duct 3 for the pedal-operating mechanism. Likewise the music-sheet M has rows of perforations 1', 2, and 3' cut therein for governing the actions pertaining to said ducts. The mouth of the duct 3 is preferably made of greater dimension than the general size of the other tracker-mouths and extends forward of the normal alinement, so that the narrow bridges of the music-sheet will not cut off the opening, the pedalgoverning perforations being a series of small round holes in preference to a long slot.
The arrangement of the resistance-spring for the automatic regulator 6 is shown in Fig. 6, where 16 indicates the spring attached to a pivoted supporting-block, 18 the bearing-piece on the movable part of the regulator against which the spring acts, and 19 the adjustingscrew for varying the effective tension of the regulator. An adj Listing-screw 17 is also provided for adjusting the relation of the valve 7.
In connection with the pedal-actuating lever 23 and its contact device 2st for working the sostenuto or sustaining-pedal P of the piano there is a power-pneumatic 25, operated by the exhaust and air pressure and governed by suitable perforations 3' in the music-sheet M. Said pneumatic 25 (see Figs. 7, 8, and 9) is arranged in conjunction with primary pneumatics and valves, as 26 and 27, and a connecting pipe or duct 3 and pipe 3 leading thereto from the tracker-orifice 3. The wind-box 28 for this set of pneumatics communicates with the exhaust-chamber B in suitable manner. The movable part of the pneumatic 25 is connected with the pedal-actuating lever 23 in a manner to effect movement thereof without interfering with the operation of said lever by the angle-lever 31 and upright cranked shaft 33. This connection, as shown, is made by a furcated projection on the pneumatic, which engages beneath a collar or nut 29, secured on the lifting-rod 30, that joins the end of the pedal-actuating lever to the angle-lever 31, the joining of the lifting-rod to the angle-lever being such that the rod can move upward without moving said angle-lever or the shaft 33 and can also be lifted by means of the anglelever without moving the pneumatic. Thus the operation of the pedal 1 for sostenuto can, at the will and pleasure of the operator, be effected or governed either manually by the handle 32 of shaft 33 or automatically by means of the-pneumatic devices. The handled shaft and angle-lever 31 have been heretofore employed for operating pedal devices and are not in themselves of my invention.
Combined with the pipes for the expressioncontrolling pneumaties there is a switch-valve 35, slidaby mounted on a valve-seat 36, disposed at convenient position upon the instrument-case. The upper portions 1, 2 and 3 of these tracker-duct pipes, as shown in Figs. 1, 2, and 3, lead from the tracker-orifices to said valve-seat and the lower portions 1*, 2, and 3 lead from the valve-seat to the pneumatics of the respective accentuation mechanisms at L and R and pedal-actuating mechanism. A series of pipes or ducts 1", 2 and 3 lead to the valve-seat from outside air-inlets, provided with valve devices 2?, t and t that close and open said inlets, such valves being provided with means for their convenient manipulation by hand. Those at the left are in the present instance furnished with stems and finger-pressible buttons 21 and 22, that stand above the run-board A, (see Figs. 1 and 2,) and the one at the right is shown arranged for operation by a handle-lever 37, said lever being of cranked form and arranged through a curved slot in the run-board A to swing laterally in a suitable bearing-block and having an offset or lug at its lower end that acts against the valve-piston stem, as best shown in Fig. 10. The valves 6, t and t are each provided with a spring S, that tends to keep the valve normally closed.
The switch-valve 35 is formed with separate grooves or passways for the respective sets of openings in the valve-seat, and means for sliding the valve on its seat is provided, as the pivoted lever 39, at the front of the tracker with a connecting-rod therefrom to the valve. A spring 38 serves to keep the valve closely on its seat. When the valve 35 is at the position shown in Fig. 1 and indicated by dotted lines on Fig. 2, then the accentuation mechanisms and pedal mechanism are governed in their action by the music-sheet through its rows of perforations 1, 2', and 3 the rendering of the expression being then effected entirely automatically in concurrence With the peculiarities of the music-sheet apertures. WVhen the valve is at the position shown in Fig. 2, then the tracker-ducts 1 2 and 3 are shut off, and the pneumatically-controlled accentuation and pedal mechanisms may be governed manually by manipulation of the inlet-valve actuators 21, 22, and 37, or the pedal can be held depressed by means of the handle-lever 32 and the parts actuated thereby.
In music-playing instruments such as are provided with choker devices of the character described in Letters Patent No. 769,889 the pneumatic 10 can be connected with the choker-mouth valve to effect the opening and closing of said valve automatically in accordance with the governing-perforations in the music-sheet.
'The music sheet or roll Mis provided with a separate row of perforations 1 2 and 3" for each of the accent divisions and the pedalcontrolling devices in addition to its note-perforations; but as said music-sheet is made the subject-matter of a separate application for Letters Patent a full description thereof is not included in this case.
By the means and construction hereinbefore set forth an instrument of the class specified is rendered capable of executing music in accordance with the delicate and peculiar intonations and expressions given by the most scientific and skilful individual artists and with a suitably-cut music-sheet of reproducing automatically the peculiarities of interpretation and characteristics of the best personal performers.
It maybe noted that 1 do not herein claim, broadly, the idea of providing perforations in a music-sheet for governing the operation of expression devices, as I am aware that means involving that idea has in different manner been heretofore employed in automatic music instruments.
What I claim, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is-
1. In an autopneumatic music-playing instrument, the combination with the windwaypassage for the air that effects movement of the action-playing pneumatics, said actionplaying pneumatics, and a wind inducing mechanism therefor; of an automatic air-pressure regulator or choker-pneumatic in connection with and forming a by-pass to said wind way, and having ports opening from and into the windway-trunk, the regulator-valve controlling one of said ports, a normally closed cut-ofi valve in said windway, intermedial to the regulator-ports, the valveoperating pneumatic and its primary controlling-pneumatics communicating with said windway between the regulator and wind-inducing means and having connection for operating said cut-off valve, and means operating as described for governing said primary and valve-operating pneumatics.
2. In combination, with the tracker, musicsheet, action-playing pneumatics, the windchest therefor, exhaust-chamber, and Windinducing mechanism; the automatic regulatorpneumatic in connection with the windwaytrunk between said wind-chest and the exhaustchamber, said regulator having two ports into said trunk, and a regulator-valve for regulating the air-tension on said actionplaying pneumatics, a port and stop-valve in a the windway between said regulator-ports, for
permitting passage of air to neutralize or modify the regulated air-tension, a pneumatic connected for operating said stop-valve, a tracker-duct pipe controlling said valve-operating pneumatic, the switch-valve in said pipe, the auxiliary air-inlet pipe unitable therewith at said switch-valve, and a finger-depressible entry-valve for said air-inlet.
3. The combination substantially as described, of the tracker, the treble and bass expression-regulators with controlling-pneumatics, the switch-valve seat with triple-arranged ports, tracker-duct pipes from the tracker to said valve-seat, conduit-pipes from the valve-seat to the respective expressioncontrolling pneumatics, ducts from said valveseat to external air-inlets, the resiliently-acting inlet-valves closing said inlets, the finger buttons for individually manually manipulating said inlet-valves, and a sliding switchvalve covering said valve-seat and adapted for uniting the respective pneumatic conduitpipes with either. the tracker-duct pipes or the inlet-valve ducts, in the manner as set forth.
4. In an autopneumatic music-playing instrument, the combination, of the pedal-depressing member 24, the pedal-actuating lever 23 fulcrumed on the frame and its rear end connected for moving said member, the pivotally supported angle lever 31, the cranked upright rocker-shaft 33 having a handle for manually moving said angle-lever, the lifter-rod 3O connecting the fore end of the pedal-actuating lever with one arm of said angle-lever, a pneumatic mechanism com prising primary and power pneumatics arranged in connection with the exhaust-chamber, the movable member of its power-pneumatic provided with means for unattached engagement with the lifter-rod, adjustable lugs or nuts arranged on said lifter-rod respectively above said angle-lever and said pneumatic member, the tracker-duct pipe for flushing the primary pneumatic of said mechanism, and means for governing the admittance of air thereinto, all substantially as and for the purposes set forth.
5. In an autopneumatic music-playing instrument, in combination substantially as described, with the series of action-playing pneumatics, the tracker and tracker-ducts leading thereto, the wind-chest for said pneumatics, and the vacuum-chamber communicating with air-exhausting bellows; a break or partition dividing said Wind-chest, windway-trunks that directly connect the respective Wind-chest divisions with said vacuumchamber, a normally closed stop-valve in each of the Windways, the automatic regulatorpneumatics arranged upon the windwaytrunks between said Wind-chest and vacuumchamber, and having ports thereinto above and below said stop-valve, the regulator-valve coacting with one of said parts, expanding tension-springs for the regulator-pneumatics, a pneumatic-box united with the windway below the regulator and carrying primary and power pneumatics, said power pneumatics connected for operating the stop-valves, flushpipes for the respective primary pneumatics and means of the character shown for governing the inflow of air thereto, for the purposes set forth.
6. In an autopneumatic music-playing instrument, the combination substantially as described, with the tracker-duct pipe, the pedalactuating lever, primary and power pneumatics connected for moving said pedal-actuating lever, the flushing-pipe 3 for controlling said pneumatics, and an air-inlet pipe or duct 3 communicatable therewith; of the spring-closed piston-disk forming an entryvalve for said air inlet, and the laterallyswinging cranked handle-lever 37 arranged through the run-board and having an offset that acts against the piston-stem for opening said entry-valve in the manner set forth.
7. In an instrument of the class specified, in combination as described, with the action wind-chest and casing, Windways for treble and bass sections, with accentuation means at R and L, comprising a plurality of pneumatic pressure-regulators for choking the windways, and pneumatics controlling said pressure-regulators, and the pedal-controlling pneumatic, the flush-pipes 1, 2 and 3 severally pertaining to said pneumatics, and the tracker having two supplemental accent-ducts at one end and a forwardly-enlarged supplemental ped al-duct at its other end, the trackerduct pipes 1 2 and 3, the air-inlet pipes 1, 2 and 3, the switch-valve seat arranged upon the action-casing and having an end of each of said pipes exposed therein in triple order, the switch-valve sliding upon said seat, valve-pistons stopping said air-inlet pipes, springs S that normally close said valve-pistons, and presser-buttons on the piston-stems for depressing the pistons to open the air-inlets. all arranged and operating as set forth.
WVitness my hand this 2d day of June, 1905.
WALTER CRIPPEN. l Vitnesses:
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