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Publication numberUS2422360 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 17, 1947
Filing dateNov 24, 1942
Priority dateNov 24, 1942
Publication numberUS 2422360 A, US 2422360A, US-A-2422360, US2422360 A, US2422360A
InventorsMcbride John W
Original AssigneeMcbride John W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Stringed instrument
US 2422360 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 17, 1947. J. W. MCBRIDE STRINGED INSTRUMENT Filed Nov. 24, 1942 4'Sheets-Sheec l June 17, 1947. J, w, MCBRIDE 2,422,360

STRINGED INSTRUMENT Filed Nov.l 24,-1942 4 sheets-sheet 2 Y@ as 5a 9x [5a. /5 l 7 i- 70 .1a Y NvENTR Job/7 144%/ Br/a@ BY m,

ATTORNEY June 17, i947c l J. w. MCBRIDE 2,422,360

STRINGED INSTRUMENT FiledNov. 24, 1942 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR Jo/m l/L/ /Vc Bride BY ATTORNEY June 17, 1947. J, w, GERM 2,422,360

S TR INGED INSTRUMENT Filed Nov. 24, 1942 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 l 'ji ,TW L/ l N v E N To R 24, 27 .Jo/m /Vcr/ae 91 Bif- ATTORNEY Patentec June 17, 1947 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE STRIN GED INSTRUMENT John W. McBride, Burbank, Calif. Application November 24, 1942, Serialr No. 466,716 (o1. S51-315i Y n n 9 Claims. 1

This invention relates to a stringed musical instrument, and especially to an instrument in which the pitch of the strings is adjustable by the aid of a mechanism disposed beneath the strings.

Instruments of this general character are known, wherein the effective vibrating length of each of the strings is adjusted by angular adjustment of a rod extending beneath the respective string and having a helical-like crest. The crest contacts the string, to form a stop therefor, and the point of contact varies as the rod is adjusted angularly about its axis.

It is one of the objects of this invention to improve instruments of this type.

It is another object of this invention to make it possible to provide luminous effects in association with the instrument and varying with the adjustment of the pitch. Preferably such effects are colored.

In order to accomplish these results, the rods upon which the crests are formed, are each telescoped over an illuminated tube, appropriately colored; and the illumination passes through a light transmitting portion of the tubular rod. Thus as the angular position of the rod is adjusted, diiferentparts of the luminous tube are exposed, and correspondingly different luminous effects are produced. By appropriate choice of colors, the resultant pattern of illumination may be related to the chords or tone produced by the instrument.v The ultimate eifect may be artistically pleasing.

It is accordingly another object of this invention to make it possible effectively to utilize in this manner, luminous tubes in association with a stringed instrument.

This invention possesses many other advantages, and has other objects which may be made more easily apparent from a consideration of one embodiment of the invention. For this purpose there is shown a form in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the present specification. This form will now be described in detail, illustrating the general principles of the invention; but it is to be understood that this detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, since the scope of this invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Referring to the drawings:

Figure 1 is a top plan View of an instrument incorporating the invention;

Fig. 2 is an elevation, partly in section and on an enlarged scale, taken substantially as indicated by line 2-2 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a pictorial view of la, section of a luminous tube with its associated crested rod utilized in connection with the invention;

Fig. 4 is a typical cross section of one of the illuminated tubes on an enlarged scale;

Fig. 5 is a sectional View, taken substantially as indicated by line 5--5 of Fig. 7; certain parts being shown in elevation.

Fig. G is an enlarged top plan View of the control mechanism, some of the parts being broken away and others in section;

Fig. 'T is a sectional view, taken substantially as indicated by line 'l-l of Fig. 5;

Fig. 8 is a cross sectional View partly broken away, taken substantially as indicated by line 8 8 of Fig. 6;

Fig. 9 is a detail sectional view, taken substantialy as indicated by line 9 9 of Fig. 8;

Fig. 10 is a sectional view, taken substantially as indicated by line lil-lll of Fig. 6;

Fig. 1l is a fragmentary plan View, partly in section, of'a portion of the instrument adjacent the right hand end thereof, as Viewed in Fig. 1;

Fig. 12 is' a sectional View taken substantially as indicated by line I2-I2` of Fig. 11;

Figs. 13 and 14 are sectional views, taken substantially as indicated by correspondingly vnumbered lines 'of Fig. 12;

Fig. 15 is a sectional View, taken substantially as indicated by line lill- I5 of Fig. 11; and

Fig. 16 isa fragmentary enlarged View of one of the manually'operable keys for adjusting the free vibrating length of one of the strings.

As illustrated most clearly in Figs. 1 and 2, the instrument embodying the invention includes a body member I. In the present instance this body member terminates at oneend with the in'- clined finger peg board 2, and at the other end, with the 'anchor board 3. Four strings 4, 5, 6 and l, arev shown in Figs. 1 'and 2 as extending longitudinally of the body `I.A Since the vibrations of the rstring in this instance are picked up by an electrical pick-up mechanism 8 (Figs. 1 and 2) disposed in a recess in the body l, adjacentthe right hand portion ofthe strings 4,' 5, 6 and 1, the body ll is substantially a solid.

A Vbridge member 9 (Figs. 1 and 2) extends transversely of the body l adjacent the anchor board 3 of the instrument.v This bridge member 9 is appropriately supported on the top surface of the board 3, and is provided with notches 9-a spaced to accommodate the 'respective strings. The corresponding ends of the strings may each be provided with a ball I0 as indicated in Fig. 2. The strings are each passed through a corre- 3 sponding aperture i2 in the associated anchoring member. The ball IB seats in ashoulder Ii-a, in the member ii, restraining the string against movement.

Adjacent the left hand extremity of the instrument, the strings 4, 5, G and 'I are accommodated in notches such as I3 (Figs. 5, 6 and 8), formed on the top edge of a wall I4. This wall is shown as formed integrally with a supporting frame I5 (see particularly Figs. 5, 9 and 16). This supporting frame is appropriately held in a recess i-a formed adjacent the left hand end of the instrument, and extends below the series of strings 4, 5, 6 and '1.

These strings extend toward the leit beyond the notches I3 and are wound around tuning posts such as i3, that extend into the peg board 2. Pegs II are provided for exerting a turning force upon these tuning posts I6 in a conventional manner.

The free vibrating lengths of the strings 4, 5, 5 and i are adjustable by angular adjustment of helically crested rotatable rod members, which are mad@ hollow for a purpose to be hereinafter described. These members I8, I9, 29, and 2I are shown as supported respectively for angular motion upon axes IS-a, I9-a, 29-a, and ZI-a, substantially parallel with the respective strings 4, 9 and They are shown as provided with the helical-like crests such as 22 (Fig. 3) that make substantially a three-quarter turn from one end of the rod to the other. The particular point of the helical-like crest 22 which contacts the corresponding string 4, 5, 6, or 1 is determined by angular adjustment of the rod, and there is a corresponding adjustment of the iree vibrating length of this string.

Rods I8, I9, 26 and 2| are appropriately supported for rotation in a manner now to be described.

The description is made specifically in relation to rods i9, but it applies as well to all the rods.

Adjacent the right hand end of the tubular rod I9 (Figs. 11 and 13), the rod is journaled upon a stationary cylindrical member 23. This cylindrical member is held in a bracket 24 (Figs. 11, 13, 14 and 15) as by the aid of the headless set screw 25. The bracket 24 is shown as fastened to a wall 26 (Fig. 14) as by the aid of a number oi wood screws 28. This wall 26 forms the right hand boundary of a recess 21 extending longitudinally 0f the body I (Fig. 2). A removable decorative sheet metal plate 29 (Figs. 1, 2, 13, 14 and 15) assists in supporting the bracket 24 as by having a flange 3] that extends into a recess 24--a formed in the upper left hand portion of the bracket 24.

The stationary cylindrical member 23 is shown as projecting entirely through the bracket 24l and into a recess 3I which is formed adjacent the main recess 21 of body I.

The tube 23 serves as a stationary support for a rotatable head 32 threaded into the right hand end of the rod-like member I9. This head 32 may be provided with appropriate recesses such as 33 for facilitating the assembly of the head 32 with the tube I9. Furthermore, its right hand face SZ--a of the head 32 is placed close to the adjacent face oi the bracket 24.

Each and every one of the rod-like members i8, I9, 2D and 2I are similarly supported by the aid of the bracket 24. For each of these rodlike members there is provided a stationary hollow cylindrical member such as 23.

At the left hand end of the rod I9, a similar 4 bearing head 34 abuts the corresponding boss 35 formed on the upright wall of I4 of frame I5. This head 34 is shown as rotatably mounted upon a central pin or shaft 36 journaled in the boss 35.

Each of the rods iS, I9, 29 and 2I is arranged to be urged constantly in a direction about its axis or rotation to increase the free length of vibration of the cooperating string, to a position corresponding to the maximum free length of the string. This position of the rods is illustrated in Fig. 6. Each of the crests 22 formed on the rods is shown as provided with a lateral extension such as 3?, upon which the corresponding string is stopped when the rods have the maximum free length. By appropriate downward movement of the keys 39, 4G and 4I, referring to Fig. 6, and in a direction transverse to the strings, the corresponding rods 8, I9, 20 and 2l may be rotated so as to bring other portions of the crest 22 into operative relationship with the corresponding string, thereby reducing its free length.

Since all of the key mechanisms are substantially identical, a complete description of one of them such as 40 is illustrative of the structure embodied in all of the keys.

Thus reference may be had in this regard to Figs. 5, 6 and '7. The key 4U is sh'own as having an operating lower portion 42. The edges of this portion 42 are disposed in grooves 43-a formed in the sides of the slot 43 disposed in the frame i5. At the extremity of the lower portion 42, a stop screw 4 may be provided which is adapted to engage the bottom of a V shaped notch 45 in the frame I5. By an appropriate spring mechanism to be hereinafter described, th'e key 40 is urged upwardly as viewed in Fig. 6 so that when pressure is released from key 40, the stop screw 44 engages the bottom of the notch 45, and the rods are retained in the position of Fig. 6.

The bottom portion 42 of key 40 carries the rack 4S adapted to engage the pinion 4'I mounted on the tube I9. Accordingly as the key 40 is depressed in a downward direction as viewed in Fig. 6, the rod member I9 is angularly moved corresponding to the amount of movement imparted to the key 40. Each of the other rod members I 8, 20 and 2l are similarly adjusted; the operating pinions however, are spaced in an axial direction to correspond to the spacing of the corresponding keys 38, 39, 40 and 4I.

The manner in Which the spring force is exerted to urge the key upward as viewed in Fig. 6 may be best explained in connection with Figs. 5 and 6. For this purpose the shaft 36 is shown as carrying a spring anchor 48. This spring anchor accommodates one end of a helical spring 49. The right hand end of the spring 49 is shown as anchored in a spring anchor 5D. This spring anchor 50 is fastened as by one or more screws 5I into the corresponding hollow crested rod I9. It is provided with a central aperture for the accommodation of a cylindrical support 52 for a source of illumination, to be described h'ereinafter.

Each of the` hollow rods is provided with a spring such as 49. The force exerted by the spring is in such direction as to urge the keys 38, 39, 40 and 4I upwardly as Viewed in Fig. 6.

It is desirable to make it possible to adjust the force exerted by the spring. For this purpose the shaft 3B is made adjustable so that it may be rotated to wind or unwind the spring 49 by rotation of th'e anchor 48. Thus xed to the 'ceal the key mechanisms.

left hand end of the shaft 36 is a worm wheel 53. This worm wheel is adjusted angularly by the aid of a cooperating worm 54 (see also Figs. 8 and 9). The worm 54 is provided at its upper and lower ends with cylindrical bearing extensions 55 and 55. These extensions are accommodated partly in the wall I 4 and partly in a cover member 51 disposed on the left hand side of the wall i4 and appropriately fastened thereto, as by screws 51-a.

The worm wh'eels 53 are accommodate in recesses lil-a formed between the Wall It and the cover member 51; and the operating parts of the Worms 54 are also accommodated in similarly formed recesses l-b. The upper end of each worm 5-1 is provided with a screw driver slot 54-a for facilitating adjustment.

A hinged sheet metal cover member 58 (Figs. '1, 2, 5, '1, 8 and 10) serves appropriately to con- This cover member 58 is shown as hinged as by the aid of th'e ear 59 (Fig. 7) to a sheet metal bracket 55 (see also Figs. 1 `and 2). This sheet metal bracket 60 is appropriately fastened to one edge of the body 4member i, as by countelsunk woodscrews 50a. A hairpin spring 6I (Figs. 6 and 7) is anchored at one end in th'e arm 62 fastened to the ear 59. The other end of the hair spring 6l may be joined to an anchoring screw 53 shown in the lower portion of Fig. 6. This hairpin spring is so arranged that it provides a constant force t urge the cover member 58 to fully opened or fully closed position, as the cover member is manually moved from one position to the other.

The edge 65 of the cover member 58 as shown most clearly in Fig. 10, may be arranged to rest upon the upright wall 61 attached to the frame l5.

The upper portions of the keys Il@ and 4| may be provided with appropriate markings 64 cooperating with the adjacent edge (55 of the cover member 58. These markings are indicated in Fig. 16. These lines (ill are so arranged that they form an indication of the note that lcorresponds to the free Vibrating length of the string when the corresponding line is in cooperative relationship with the edge G (Fig. 7) ci the cover member 58.

Inaddition to the transversely movable keys 38, 38, 48 and Lil, a lever 65 (See Figs. l, 6, 7 and 10) is also provided for operating a variable resistance structure 12B mounted in a recess 18 in the left hand part oi the body i, and connected to the pick up device 8 by leads t9 extending through an appropriate recess 1i in the body (see also Fig. 2). rThe variable resistance structure |28 comprises a post 12 rotatably supported in the recess 1S as by a bearing member 18. The lever' 8G is secured on the post 12, by a nut 96 threaded on the threaded extension i2-c. oi the post 12 and has an upward extension forming the thumb rest 1li. The lever 5t also has an arm 15 (see Figs. 6 and '7) carrying contact arms 11 which engage the resistance segments 16.

To permit arm et to be swung about the aXis of the post 12, the body l may be cut away as indicated at 18 (Figs. 1 and 6).

As shown most clearly in Figs. 5 and '1, the bearing member 13 cooperates with a shoulder 95 of the post 12, restraining upward movement of the post 12. 'Downward movement is restrained by the engagement of lever 5B with the upper end Iof the bearing member 13.

At times it may be desirable to vary the 'resistance by manipulation of other means than by means of the thumb rest 14. For this reason `another arm 91 (Figs. 2, 6 and '7) is attached to the bottom of the post 12. This arm 91 extends outwardly from the body I and may be manipulated in lieu of the manipulation of the thumb rest 14 for adjusting the resistance.

In order to provide the luminous effects mentioned hereinabove in connection with the adjustable crested rods, each of these rods is telescoped over a source of illumination. For eX- ample, in connection With the rod I8, there is a helical-like slot portion (Fig. 3) substantially coextensive with the crest E2 and adjacent thereto, for transmitting lighi-J from the source. For the sake of rigidity, bridging members lill (Fig. 3)

be provided along the length oi the slot.

illumination from the illuminated tube 8l disn posed within the hollow rod i9 passes through the slot 88. The character oi the illumination is made to vary in accordance with the angular position of the rod i9. For this purpose the luminous tube 8l is provided with di ntly colored light transmitting strips indicar d in Figs. 3 and a. rilliese strips are ol a helical-like pattern, capable of being Vplaced in a substantial registry with the light transmitting slot si) of the rod I9. Accordingly as the rod I8 is rotated, light of various colors will be Visible through the slot lib.

Each of the light transmitting slots 88 of the crested rods i8, 2t and 2| may transmit light of different color in accordance with the adjusted position of the rod. Further, ii the slot happens to in a position t0 transmit light from more than one of the colored strips S2, the transmitted light will be a blending of the colors of such st; The variously colored light transmitted by the several slots in turn blend to produce different tints or color combinations which change as the rods are rotated. The eect of these tints may be rendered rartistically attractive by appropriate choice of the colors of the strips 82. Thus the tube 8l may be one that utilises one or more of the noble monatomic gases, rendered luminous by impressing an appropriate pon tential difference across the electrodes of the tube. By providing stained glass of appropriate shades and colors for the strips 82, these stripsl can pass colored light through the slots 85. However, other means for illuminating the strips 82 may be utilized such as an incandescent filament, which is the preferred form.

The hollow cylindrical member 23 (Fig. 13 serves as a support for the right hand end of the tube 8l. At the left hand end of the tube 8i (Fig. 5) the pin or post 52 may be utilized which is supported in the bearing head 5).

Electrical energy may be supplied to all of the tubes such as 8l, by the aid of the conductors 83 (Figs. l1 to 15 inclusive). These conductors 83 lead to a receptacle 84 into which may be plugged a conventional plug member (not shown). Included in series in the conductors isa variable resistance device, 85 (Fig. 1l) located in a recess 85 in the body adjacent the right hand portion of the body rlhe conductor 83 branches orf through each of the hollow cylindrical tubes 23, to energize the respective luminous tubes S I. Appropriate apertures such as 81 and 33 (see also Figs. 12 and l5) are provided in the body l for appropriately accommodating the conductors BS. Furthermore, additional recesses 89 (Figs. 1l and 13) may be provided leadingto the main recess 21 for the accommodation of the connections 83a adjacent to the right hand ends 'of the cylindrical members 23.

The intensity of the glow may be varied by adjusting the arm 90 of the resistance structure 85 by means of the operating disc HI, which is substantially flush with the upper surface of the body I (see Fig. 1).

At times the translucent portions such as the slot 80 of the rod being manipulated may be turned toward the bottom of the main recess 21. In order to make it possible, nevertheless, to render the illumination passing through the slot 80 visible, use is made oi a reflector 9| (Fig. 2) disposed in the bottom oi the recess 21. This may be in the nature of a mirror and may in fact carry fret marks such as 92 (Fig. l).

The blended illumination from all four of the rods i8, I9, 2G and 2i changes with each setting oi the rods. Definite musical chords or other unusual eiects can be Corelated to a denite type of blending colors. Illumination through any of the slots may be due to overlapping of a pair of adjacent strips 82 by the slot 80.

The helical-like crests such as 22 (Fig. 3) urge the corresponding strings 4, 5, 6 and outwardly where they contact the strings. It is desirable that the force exerted by these crests will not lift the strings from their permanent stops. For this reason, a special form of permanent stop is arranged. This may be described most clearly in connection with Figs. 5, 6, 7 and 10.

Thus located between the rods i3 and i9 is a stop member 98. A similar stop member 99 is located between the rods 29 and 2l. These stop members are of general T-shape, the extremities of the Ts being rounded as indicated at 109 (Fig. 6). These ends contact the corresponding strings 4, 5, 6 and 7. The length of the head of the T is suiiicient to cause a slight spread between the strings Il and 5 and between the strings 6 and 1, so that these strings are forced against the surfaces ISS. Furthermore, upward or downward movement of the strings can occur over the rounded surfaces H36 without disturbing the stopping function of these stops 98 and 99.

These stops 98 and 99 may be appropriately fastened as by the screws ll (Fig. 6 and 10) on the frame t5. If desired, dowel pins |02 may be provided to ensure accurate alinement of these members 98, 99.

What is claimed is:

1. In a stringed musical instrument, a tensioned string, a rod-like member extending alongside of the string and capable of angular adjustment for adjusting the free length of the string, and a source of illumination associated with said member, the character ci the visible illumination being altered in accordance with the adjustment of said member.

2. In a stringed musical instrument, a tensioned string, a hollow rod-like member extending alongside of the string and capable of angular adjustment for adjusting the iree length of the string, and a source oi illumination within said member, said member having a light transmitting portion for transmitting light from said source.

3. In a stringed musical instrument, a tensioned string, a hollow rod-like member extending alongside of the string and capable of angular adjustment for adjusting the free length of the string, a luminous tube telescoped within said member, said member having a light transmitting portion for passing light from said source.

4. In a stringed musical instrument, a tensioned string, a hollow rod-like member extending alongside of the string and capable of angular adjustment for adjusting the free length of the string, said member having a light transmitting helical-like portion, and a luminous tube telescoped within said member and having a series of colored helical-like light transmitting portions of its exterior, each of said colored portions being capable of substantial registry with the light transmitting portion of said member.

5. In a stringed musical instrument, a tensioned string, a hollow rod-like member extending alongside oi the string and capable of angular adjustment for adjusting the free length of the string, a stationary source of illumination within said member, there being a light transmitting portion on said member to pass illumination from said source, and means forming bearing structures between the source of illumination and said member at the ends of said source.

6. In a stringed musical instrument, a tensioned string, a hollow rod-like member extending alongside of the string and capable of angular adjustment for adjusting the free length of the string, a source of illumination within said member, said member having a light transmitting portion for transmitting light from said source.

7. In a stringed musical instrument, a tensioned string, a rod-like member having a helical-like crest extending alongside of the string and capable of angular adjustment for causing any selected point of the crest to be urged against the string for determining its free length, and a source of illumination associated with said member, the character of the illumination being altered in accordance with the adjustment of said member.

In a stringed musical instrument, a tensioned string, a hollow rod-like member having a helical-like crest and capable of angular adjustment for causing any selected point of the crest to be urged against the string for determining its free length, said member having a light transmitting helical-like portion coextensive with the crest, and a luminous tube telescoped within said member and having a series of colored helical-like portions on its exterior, each of said colored portions being capable of substantial registry with said light transmitting portion.

9. In a stringed musical instrument, a tensioned string, a hollow rod-like member having a helical-like crest and capable of angular adjustment for causing any selected point of the crest to be urged against the string for determining its free length, said member having a light transmitting helical-like portion coextensive with the crest, a luminous tube telescoped Within said member and having a series of colored helical-like portions on its exterior, each of said colored portions being capable of substantial registry with said light transmitting portion, and means forming a reflecting surface opposed to said member.

JOHN W. MCBRIDE.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,652,797 Richter Dec. 13, 1927 1,913,233 De Francesco June 6, 1933 2,316,799 McBride Apr. 20, 1943 1,669,117 Beers May 8, 1928 1,484,795 Munsell Feb. 26, 1924

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1484795 *Mar 24, 1923Feb 26, 1924Munsell Alexander E OColor piano
US1652797 *Sep 17, 1926Dec 13, 1927Frederick Richter PaulChord-controlling means for instruments of the lute type
US1669117 *Oct 26, 1926May 8, 1928Randal H BeersElectrical display for stringed musical instruments
US1913233 *Feb 9, 1928Jun 6, 1933De Francesco JohnLight illuminating musical instrument
US2316799 *Apr 14, 1941Apr 20, 1943John W McbrideStringed musical instrument
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2549914 *Oct 5, 1946Apr 24, 1951Bantar IncStringed musical instrument
US2574880 *Aug 15, 1949Nov 13, 1951Bantar IncMusical instrument
US2806399 *Jan 5, 1951Sep 17, 1957Bantar IncWind musical instrument with helical frequency determining means
US6280654 *Jan 12, 2000Aug 28, 2001Steven M. DigmanGlow in the dark rosin
Classifications
U.S. Classification84/315, 984/110, 84/464.00R
International ClassificationG10D3/00
Cooperative ClassificationG10D3/00
European ClassificationG10D3/00