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Publication numberUS2018182 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 22, 1935
Filing dateOct 4, 1932
Priority dateOct 4, 1932
Publication numberUS 2018182 A, US 2018182A, US-A-2018182, US2018182 A, US2018182A
InventorsLogan George H
Original AssigneeMerlon Company Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Drum head
US 2018182 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

G. H. LOGAN Oct. 22, 1935.

DRUM HEAD Original Filed Oct. 4, 1952 Patented Oct. 22, 1935 UNITED STATES DRUM HEAD v George H. Logan, Pittsburgh, Pa., assignor, by direct and mesne assignments, to Merlon Comp y, 16-, Pennsylvama Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Application October 4, 1932, Serial No. 636,151 Renewed February 23, 1935 19 Claims. (Cl. 84- -414) This invention relates to musical instruments and more particularly to heads or covers for musical instruments, such as drums, both snare and bass, tambourines, banjos and the like.

One object of the invention is to provide a novel head or cover consisting of a woven fabric, such as linen or silk, treated to be waterproof and also to be suificiently strong to withstand the blows normally applied to a drum head when it is played.

Drum heads and other covers that are affected by rain or moisture in the air lose their tonal qualities, since they are so affected, and such instruments can not therefore be properly played with a constant tone when weather conditions are such as to moisten or dampen the drum head.

One of the objects of this invention is to provide a fabric drum head which is treated to be waterproof and self supporting without the use of any other re-inforcing layers such as skins and the like.

In order to procure proper tonal qualities of desired pitch, the thickness of the drum head is modified to procure such various responsiveness.

Another object of this invention therefore is to provide a drum head having one or more fabric layers treated to be waterproof and bonded or cemented together as an integral layer, with a thickness provided according to the range of tonal responsiveness desired from the instrument to which the head or cover is to be applied.

A head of one or more layers of fabric properly strengthened to withstand the blows applied to the fabric when the head is stretched taut, provides a sharp clear tone due to the minimum amount of inertia in the material of the head, as

the result of which such head or cover is extremely sensitive to applied blows.

In preparing a head from one layer of fabric, the fabric is disposed tightly upon its supporting ring or hoop to present a smooth taut surface. It is then painted by brush or spray to be permeated with a solution of a dissolved cellulose ester, such as cellulose acetate, to which has been added an ingredient such as dibutyl phthalate or castor oil to impart flexibility to the cellulose ingredient when dried, which latter serves as a strong bonding agent for the fabric when it dries. The woven fabric is thus very strongly re-inforced and waterproofed by the bonding agent, and the tendency of the cellulose ingredient to become brittle is retarded, permitting the treatedhead to have a long period of usefulness. p

The flexibility ingredient, in addition, has a beneficial quality for the application to a drum head, since it seems to function as a lubricator 1n that the surface of the woven fabric after such treatment is smoothened, and the head provides a better roll and distinct tone because of the smooth surface presented to the drum sticks.

Where the head is to be made of more than one 5 layer, each layer is drawn taut and the several layers treated individually and then joined, or the several layers may be laid upon each other in taut surface relationship, and then painted with the bonding agent, by brush or spray, to impregnate 10 the several layers, so that they will be formed into an integral head when the bonding agent dries. While the bonding agent is applied, the several layers should preferably be brushed or rubbed to prevent any air from being pocketed between the 15 layers.

In many cases it is desirable to color a drum head or to apply a design thereto. The nature of the bonding agent makes it an excellent vehicle for a coloring ingredient, organic orinorgo ganic, but particularly the aniline derivatives. The waterproofing character of the bonding agent protects the color from being affected by water or moisture.

In the multiple layer construction, a design 35 may be applied to the inner surface of an outer layer, or to either surface of an inner layer, and the outer layer will serve asa protective covering.

One preparation which I have found particularly satisfactory, referred to above, is cellulose acetate dissolved in acetone with dibutyl phthalate added. This solution may be readily applied to a fabric, and, when it dries imparts an unusual strength to the fabric that enables the fabric to withstand the blows of drum sticks upon the fabric head stretched taut. The cellulose derivative alone tends to become brittle and to crack when dry. The addition of an ester such as the dibutyl phthalate, or a softening ingredient such as castor oil maintains the cellulose ingredient as a flexible bond without impairing its strength.

I have specified cellulose acetate as the preferred cellulose base because of its non-inflammable character, but I do not limit myself thereto, since any cellulose derivative will be satisfactory that will form a structure such as pyroxylin or celluloid upon drying. Similarly, other esters besides dibutyl phthalatemaybe used, such as, for example, diamyl phthalate or triphenyl phosphate. Also other hydrocarbon derivatives that will not react with the cellulose derivative may be used, such as the castor oil previously mentioned. other vegetable oils, glycerine and the lubricating oils.

The combination of the binding ingredient in ent, provides a strong drum head having sharp distinct tonal qualities, with a surface smoothness unapproached by that of a skin head, which permits the drum sticks to be applied better to procure the roll" effect.

While such a layer of fabric as described herein is relatively strong in its taut condition, so that it may withstand the blows of drum sticks, it is desirable also to re-inforce the fabric where it is drawn over the edge of the body or cylinder of a drum or the like when being tightened to taut condition.

Another object of this invention, therefore, is to reinforce a head, of the character described, against tearing or destruction by abrasive action due to the tightening of the head on a drum body or the like, so that the advantages of the tonal responsiveness of a tight drum head may be fully utilized without permitting the introduction of any weakening effects.

The drawing illustrates one useof such a head in its application to a drum together with the construction of the drum head adapted for such use, in which,

Figure 1 is a transverse sectional view of a drum to which is applied a drum head embodying the principles of this invention;

Figure 2 is a perspective view of a portion of a head or cover embodying the principles of this invention, and

Figure 3 is a similar view of a similar head embodying a plurality of layers of fabric.

As shown in the drawing, a musical instrument such as a drum l0 comprises a cylindrical body ll terminating in beads l2 of increased thickness at its edges.

Clamping rings l3 encircle and extend over the bead edges I2 to rest and press against a confining and supporting rim I4 for a head or cover IS.

The clamping rings I3 are disposed to be drawn downwardly against the rim ll of the head l5 so that the material of the head will be stretched tightly by the circular bead edges l2 of the body of the drum. The tightening action of the clamping rings I3 is adjusted by the drummer until such sounds of desired-tonal consistency are emitted from the drum when the head 15 is struck by the usual drum sticks.

Such adjustable means are made in various forms and for the purpose of the present description may be considered as consisting of stationary turn buckles I! mounted upon the outer side surface of the drum body parallel to the axis, in

sufficient number and with sufficient spacing to provide the necessary amount of adjustment.

Clamping bolts l8 which may be adjusted, are threaded into the ends of the turn buckles l1 and are disposed to extend through lugs IS on the clamping rings IS. The lugs l8 are provided with suitable slots l9 through which the bolts may be inserted. The heads of the bolts are of polygonal cross-section, such as square or hexagon, so that the bolts may be readily manipulated by a key having a recess of corresponding shape. The inward or downward movement of the clamping ring forces the rim of the head inward or downward on the drum and stretches the fabric of the head between the bead edges in a manner well known. Since the quality of sound of the instrument is controlled by the tension of the drum head considerable pressure may be applied or may be necessary for application on the rim. As shown in Figure 2 one form of drum head embodying the principle of this invention consists of a single layer 2| of woven fabric, such as silk or linen, of close or fine weave stretched between and supported upon the rim M to which the outer edge of the fabric layer is tightly secured in order to prevent tearing or destruction of the fabric layer when it is pulled tightly over the edge of the bead 12 of the drum body.

The woven fabric is painted with the cellulose mixture 20 until the fabric is entirely permeated and is then permitted to dry. The painting is preferably done while the fabric is stretched free of wrinkles.

A narrow rim of skin 22 is cemented and bonded to the under surface of the fabric layer adjacent the supporting rim H. The skin 22 is tucked in and securely fastened to the supporting rim l4 together with the fabric. The upper surface of the fabric may also be covered with a protective rim 23 of skin or fabric for a short distance adjacent the supporting rim M in order to prevent excessive rubbing of the clamping ring l3 action of the edge of the drum body at the rim of the drum head, while permitting the circular portion of the drum head maximum freedom of responsiveness to impressed blows.

The treatment of the fabric renders it waterproof and suitable for playing under all weather conditions whether dry or damp.

In the construction shown in Figure 3 the head is similar to that shown in Figure 2, except that the head in Figure 3 is provided with two layers of fabric bonded together with taut surface-tosurface relationship by a suitable bonding agent such as described above. The re-inforcing rim layer of skin is also provided in this embodiment for the purpose already described. Any number of layers of fabric may be similarly cemented or bonded together to make up a head of the necessary thickness for the particular tonal qualities desired.

In each form the fabric and skin are looped and tucked in rim l4 and glued thereto to provide a tight anchorage of the edges of the fabric and of the skin to the rim M. The complete head and rim are therefore self supporting when removed from the drum body.

In the single-layer head, desired design may be painted on the head before the treatment is applied, since the applied mixture will serve as a weatherproof varnish. In the multiple layer head, as shown in Figure 3, the design may be painted on or applied to the inner surface of a layer of fabric.

In the claims, and in the specification I refer to head, for convenience as a drum head, but I do not so limit its application, since it may be generally applied to various musical instruments such as tambourines, banjos and the like.

While I have shown and described certain preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to 70 1. A drum head comprising a plurality of layers of woven fabric permeated by a bonding medium consisting of a cellulose ester.

2. A drum head comprising a plurality of layers of woven fabric bonded to each other by a medium consisting of cellulose acetate and another ester having an anti-embrittling character.

3 A drum head comprising a plurality of layers of woven material with the weaves of the respective layers angularly shifted relative to each other, and a bonding agent for the several layers consisting of a cellulose ester.

4. A drum head comprising a plurality of layers of woven material bound together, to constitute an integral vibrating member, by a bonding medium consisting of a cellulose ester base and. dibutyl phthalate.

. 5. A drum head comprising a plurality of layers of woven fabric bonded together by a cellulose derivative and a lubricator.

6, A drum head comprising a plurality of layers of woven fabric bonded together by a cellulose ester and a lubricator.

7. A drum head comprising a plurality of layers of woven fabric bonded together by cellulose acetate and an oil.

8. A head for a musical instrument comprising a treated layer of fabric supported on and within a closed circular rim, and a layer of skin for reinforcing the fabric where it engages the rim, but leaving the central part of the head free.

9. A head for amusical instrument comprising a circular supporting ring to serve as a rim, a fabric material supported on and within the area of the ring to constitute the sounding head and consisting of one or more treated and bonded layers of the fabric material, according to the tone of the sound desired, and a re-inforcing 10. The method of forming a drumhead, which' consists in stretching a sheet of fabric on a circular hoop or frame, permeating the fabric with 11. As an article of manufacture, a drum- 5 head consisting of a sheet of woven fabric per- 'meated and bonded by a cellulose ester and a lubricator. v

12. -As an article of manufacture, a drum head consisting of a fabric material having its strands 1 bondedtogether by a cellulose derivative.

13. As an article of manufacture, a drum head consisting of a fabric material having its strands bonded together and covered by a cellulose derivative. Y 5

14. As an article of manufacture, a drum head consisting of a fabric material having its strands permeated and bonded together by a cellulose derivative.

15. As an article of manufacture, a drum head 20 consisting of a fabric material having its strands permeated and covered by a cellulose derivative serving as a bonding agent between said strands.

16. As an article of manufacture, a drum head 5 consisting of a fabric material having its strands permeated and covered by a cellulose deriva tive serving as a bonding and moisture-proof protective agent for said strands.

17.. .As an article of manufacture, a drum head 30 consisting of a fabric material having its strands treated to have a cellulose derivative integral with said fabric and serving as a bonding agent between said strands of the fabric.

18. As an article of manufacture, a drum head 5 consisting of a fabric having its strands permeated and covered with a cellulose derivative that fills and bridges the spaces between the strands to serve as a bond between adjacent strands.

'19. As an article of manufacture, a drum head 40 consisting of a fabric material having a superposed layer of a cellulose derivative material bonded to the fabric by wetting and subsequent drying.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2667098 *Jun 12, 1951Jan 26, 1954Rafry L McmullenHead for musical instruments
US2830484 *Jun 28, 1955Apr 15, 1958Erwin James VHead for musical instrument of the drum type
US4254685 *Jun 13, 1979Mar 10, 1981Rose Calvin DDrum and drumhead structure
US4308782 *Oct 4, 1979Jan 5, 1982Remo, IncorporatedLaminated head of plastic sheet material and a synthetic fabric material having random fiber orientation
US4356756 *Apr 3, 1981Nov 2, 1982Remo, Inc.Swelling polymer film, joining, drying with shrinkage
US4362081 *Oct 6, 1980Dec 7, 1982Remo, Inc.Laminated head of plastic sheet material and nonimpregnated synthetic woven fabric material
US4416181 *Apr 3, 1981Nov 22, 1983Remo, Inc.Pretuned head for drum or the like
US4469001 *Aug 25, 1982Sep 4, 1984Remo, Inc.Method of forming a non-tunable head
US4706540 *Jan 7, 1987Nov 17, 1987Donohoe David GTear resistant drum head assembly
US4809582 *May 31, 1988Mar 7, 1989Chang Cheng HuiOuter layer drumhead structure
WO1981003564A1 *Sep 11, 1980Dec 10, 1981Rose CDrum pitch modulation
U.S. Classification84/414, 984/151
International ClassificationG10D13/00, G10D13/02
Cooperative ClassificationG10D13/027
European ClassificationG10D13/02H