US 2407312 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 10, 1946. F. H. MAGNUS PLASTIC HARMONICA Filed Feb. 20, 1943 3nventor (Ittomeg Patented Sept. 10, 1946 2,407,312 PLASTIC mmomea Finn n. Magnus, West Caldwell, N. J., asslgnor to International Plastic Harmonica Corporation, Newark, N. J a corporation of New Jersey Application February 20, 1943, Serial No. 476,517 Claims. (01.84-377) This invention relates in general to harmonicas, particularly harmonicas in which the reeds or reed plate, or both the reeds and reed plate are formed of a plastic composition. as described in my copending application Serial No. 467,679. filed December 3, 1942.
In the manufacture of harmonicas having the reeds formed of metal. such as brass, considerable diillculty has been encountered in tuning tlle reeds. The riveting of the reeds upon the reed plate often changes the tone of the reed.
Furthermore. variations in the compositions of the alloys. and heat treatment and rolling of the metals during manufacture, affect the tonal qualities of the metals. Therefore, hand tuning, as by grinding, of practically all of the reeds in each instrument is necessary. which is a slow and tedious operation.
With my invention as disclosed in my aforesaid application and as will be hereinafter described, the reeds are formed of a plastic composition which is molded so that the reeds can be produced initially in tune and the reeds can be molded integrally with the reed plates or secured thereto adhesively. Riveting or similar fastening operations thereby are eliminated and the necessity for hand tuning is obviated.
A prime object of the present invention is to provide a novel and improved construction and combination of reeds and a reed plate to facilitate integral molding of a plurality of reeds and to expedite assembly of'said reeds with the reed plate, whereby the reeds can be molded in tune and all of the reeds can be mounted in proper relation to the reed plate in one and the same operation and without the necessity for riveting or similar fastening operations.
Another object is to provide a novel and improved structure such that a plurality of reeds of difierent tones can be integrally formed in proper relation to each other and handled as a unitary reed board or reed stick, whereby in-.
dividual handling and fastening of the reeds on a reed plate shall be obviated.
A further object is to provide a novel and improved reed plate to cooperate with said reed board or reed stick and having a slot for each reed, so that said reeds can be mounted in their respective slots in one and the same operation by simply arranging said reed stick and said reed plate in a certain relation to each other.
Anothe object is to provide a novel and improved construction and combination of areed stick, a reed plate and a wind cell block to facil itate mounting and holding said reeds and their corresponding slots in the plate in proper relation to the respective wind cells.
Further objects are to Provide a, novel and improved reed slot valve unit which shall permit a plurality of valve flaps to be handled as a unit to facilitate application thereof to a harmonica; and to provide such a unit which shal1 be moisture-resistant and non-corrosive and wherein the reed-damping flaps shall be highly flexible and resilient.
Other objects, advantages and results of the invention will be brought out by the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which Figure 1 is a front perspective view of a harmonica embodying my invention.
Figure 2 is a rear perspective view thereof.
Figure 3 is an enlarged transverse vertical sectional view on the line 33 of Figure 1.
Figure 4 is a composite perspective view of the reed board or reed stick and the reed plate.
Figure 5 is a perspective view of the wind cell block.
Figure 6 is a perspective view of the wind cell block and the reed stick and reed plate in assembled relation, and
Figure 7 is a perspective view of the reed damping unit.
For the purpose of illustrating the invention I have shown it in a harmonica which includes a body or casing comprising a wind cell block A and two cover or sound chamber sections B and C which are mounted on opposite sides of the wind cell block.
Important features of the invention are the reed stick or reed board D, the reed plate E and their combination with each other and with th wind cell block A.
The reed stick D comprises an elongate fiat body I which has a plurality of reeds 2 projecting from one edge thereof in spaced, parallel and side-byside relation to each other. As shown, the body I and the reeds 2 are formed integrally and in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention are composed of a plastic composition such as Polystyrene." As shown, the body I has a plurality of lugs 3 projecting from one edge thereof from each of which projects one of the reeds 2, so that each lug in effect forms a base for the corresponding reed.
The invention particularly contemplates the molding of the reed stick D from a moldable plastic composition such as Polystyrene, and the molding of the reeds2 in tune, so that the reeds may be handled simultaneously as a unit and 3 assembled with the reed plate without riveting or other fastening operations and without the necessity for individual tuning of the reeds. It will be understood that the reeds will be of sizes and shapes to produce the desired musical tones, as usual. Where the reeds are formed of Poly- 4 against warping, without the necessity for separate fastener elements.
As shown in Figure 3, it is desirable that the draw reeds, which are shown at the upper porstyrene'. or the' like they will vary in thickness from .022 inch to .026 inch at their juncture with 'the lugs 3, and will decrease in'thickness from their bases to their free ends so that the thicknesses at the ends of the reeds will be from .010 to .016 inch.
The reed plate E has a plurality o1 reed slots 4, one for each reed, and has a notch 5 in one edge thereof in alinement with each slot to receive one of the lugs 3 of the reed stick. In assembling the reed stick and the reed plate they are arranged in edge-to-edge relation with the lugs 3 in the corresponding notches 5 and with one of the reeds 2 in each slot 4. Preferably the reed plate has a cut away portion 6 between the base of each notch 5 and the end of the corresponding reed slot 4, in which the corresponding reed 2 is seated. With the parts thus assembled the reed stick D and the reed plate E are disposed in substantially a common plane as shown in Figure 3, and. the reeds are free to vibrate in their respective slots upon passage of air currents through the latter.
In accordance with the form of the invention illustrated there is a reed stick and a corresponding reed plate at each of opposite sides of the wind cell block A, and as shown, the wind cell block has a recess I at each side thereof in which the corresponding reed stick and reed plate are seated as shown in Figure 6. The reed stick D and reed plate E at one side of the wind cell block are arranged so that the reeds thereof shall serve as blow or exhale reeds, while the reed stick and reed plate at the other side of the block are so disposed that the reeds will serve as inhale or draw reeds.
One blow reed and one exhale reed are arranged one above the other so as to constitute a pair, and the wind cell block A has a plurality of slots 8, one for each pair of reeds. LAS shown, these slots open through both sides of the wind cell block and through one edge thereof which serves as a mouth-piece for the instrument.
The two casing sections B and C are shown as substantially identical in construction and are secured at opposite sides of the wind cell block A in any suitable manner as by screws 9. One edge of each casing section tightly fits against the corresponding side of the wind cell block at the edge thereof through which open the wind cells 8 and said edges are smooth and rounded as in" clicated at In so as to form smooth and comfortable surfaces for the lips of the player and to cooperate with the edge of the wind cell block to form a mouth-piece. Each casing section B and C has a sound chamber 1 l in communication with the reed slots 4 of the respective reed plate, said sound chambers opening at the rear of the instrument as indicated at I2. Preferably each casing section B and C has portions l3 overlying the ends of the corresponding reed plate, a, portion I overlying the forward edge of the reed plate and one or more lugs or ribs l5 intermediate the length of the corresponding sound chamber to overlie the rear edge 01' the corresponding reed plate.
With this construction the reed plates and reed sticks are firmly held in proper position and tion of said figure be located nearer the mouthpiece than the "blow reedsso that the velocity of air passing around the draw" reeds shall be substantially the same as the velocity of air current passing around the "blow" reeds, thereby to ensure approximately the same volume 0! tone from the draw'! reeds and "blow reeds.
Another feature oi the invention is a slot-valve unit which is shown as comprising an elongate body It of suitable flexible material, preferably oi plastic composition such as Polystyrene," from one edge of which integrally projects a plurality of valve flaps i'l one for each reed. when the unit is formed or a plastic composition such as Polystyrene it is moisture resistant and noncorrosive and the damping flaps I! are highly resilient and flexible. It is possible to form these flaps of a thickness of about .010 inch so that they will be readily sensitive to air currents flowing through the slots in the proper direction. As usual, the valve flaps II will be applied over the blow" reed slots at the side of the reed plate opposite the mouth-piece while the valv flaps for the "draw" reed slots will be applied thereover at the side of the reed plate nearer the mouth-piece as shown in Figure 3. With the unit embodying the invention, all of the flaps may be handled at the same time and may be secured to the corresponding reed stick I by adhesively or otherwise attaching the body It to the reed stick.
It will be understood by those skilled in the art that the reed sticks, reed plates, wind cell blocks and valve units, may be die out instead of molded. However, when the reeds are die-cut from sheets, it will be necessary to individually tune them as by shaving or grinding them.
Many othermodificatlons and changes in the details of structure of the harmonica and the method of making and assembling the parts will occur to those skilled in the art as within the spirit and scope of the invention.
What I claim is:
1. For a harmonica, the combination of an elongate fiat body of plastic material having a plurality of lugs projecting integrally from one edge thereof in spaced relation to each other and each having a reed projecting integrally therefrom, and a reed plate having a plurality of reed slots and also having notches in one edge each in alinement with one slot, one of said lugs being seated in each said notch, and the corresponding reed being disposed in the slot that is alined with said lug.
2. For a harmonica, the combination of an elongate flat body of plastic material having a plurality of lugs projecting integrally from one edge thereof in spaced relation to each other and each having a reed projecting integrally therefrom. and a reed plate having a plurality of reed slots and also having notches in one edge and grooves leading from said slots to said notches, each notch and corresponding groove being in alinement with one slot, one of said lugs being seated in each said notch, and the corresponding reed being disposed in the groove and the slot that are alined with the lug.
3. In a harmonica, a casing including a wind cell block having a plurality of wind cells opening through one edge and at least one side thereof, a reed plate mounted on said side of said wind-cell block and having a reed slot for each 5 cell, a reed unit comprising a flat elongate body mounted on said side of the bell block and having a plurality of reeds projecting from one edge thereof, said body being arranged in edge to edge relation to said reed plate with one of said reeds disposed in each said reed slot, said cell block having a recess in said side thereof in which said reed plate and said reed unit are seated, and a casing section secured to said cell block above said reed plate and reeds and having a sound chamber.
4. For a harmonica, an elongate flat body of 6 plastic material having a plurality of molded tuned reeds of varying thickness which were molded in tune projecting integrally from one edge'thereof in spaced relation .to each otherlongitudinally of said body in the order of their tones.
5. For a harmonica, a molded elongate flat body of plastic material having a plurality of molded tuned reeds which were molded in tune 10 projecting integrally therefrom in spaced relation to each other.
FINN H. MAGNUS.