US 2785596 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 19, 1957 c. KOROSH 2,785,596
PEDAL-OPERATED MARACAS Filed NOV. 9, 1955 FIG. I. 38 so INVENTOR CHARLES KOROSH.
9; L- Jw ATTO NEY United States Patent PEDAL-OPERATED MARACAS This invention relates to pedal-operated maracas.
Maracas are conventionally held in both hands and shaken in opposite directions to produce the desired sound effects. This is a tiring procedure and, more importantly, it fully occupies the players hands and precludes simultaneous operation of other sound or musical instruments. Attempts have heretofore been made to mechanize maracas so that they might be operated by means of pedals worked by the feet. These attempts have not succeeded for two reasons: In the first place, the maracas were not operated in opposite directions at the same time. in the second place, the maracas were not provided with stop means for abruptly halting their movement, and with a mechanism for equally as abruptly reversing their direction of travel. It is this abrupt stoppage and reversal of movement that is required to produce the desired sound effects.
It is the principal object of this invention to provide mechanized, pedal-operated maracas capable of producing precisely the same sound effects as conventional manually operated maracas. Equally as important, the maracas in the present invention are mounted for movement past each other during each half-cycle of their operation. More precisely, the maracas are positioned for travel in parallel planes and they pass each other midway between their respective extreme positions at both ends of their lines of travel. This corresponds to the manual method of operating maracas and consequently the sound effects produced thereby cannot be distinguished from the sound erfects produced by the conventional manual operation of maracas.
An important object of this invention is the provision of stop means to abruptly stop the movement of the maracas at the ends of their respective strokes or paths of travel. The inertia of the movable elements within the maraca balls or shells, coupled with such abrupt stoppage of movement of said balls or shells, produces a true maraca sound effect which is in the nature of a sharp click rather than a somewhat rolling rattle.
Another important object of this invention is the feature of foldability which renders it possible to collapse the mechanism herein claimed to relatively small proportions in order to form a compact package for storage or transportation. in the present device, a pivoted pedal is connected by means of links to a pair of pivoted maracas. When the mechanism is fully set up, the maracas are positioned in slightly biased relation to the vertical, the handle of one of said maracas pointing downwardly and slightly forwardly and the handle of the other maraca pointing downwardl and slightly rearwardly. The ball or shell portions of the two maracas project upwardly, the first also rearwardly and the second also forwardly. A spring tends to hold them in such positions with the pedal in elevated position, ready for actuation. By simply disconnecting one of the links, the maracas may be pivoted to horizontal positions, thereby reducing the over all dimensions of the device to manageable proportions.
The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing in which:
Fig. 1 is a top view of pedal-operated maracas made in accordance with this invention.
Fig. 2 is a side view thereof.
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary section on the line 3-3 of Fig. l.
The device herein claimed is provided with a base 10 which may simply be a flat wood board shaped as desired. Attached to the bottom of the base is a rubber pad 12 or the like which would prevent marring of the floor on which the device is placed and would also prevent slippage or creeping during operation. At the back end of board 10 is an elevated portion 14 forming what may be described as a platform on which the heel of the operator of the device may be placed during its operation. A rubber pad 16 may also be placed on said elevated platform 14 to prevent slippage of the heel relative to the base.
A pedal 18 is pivotally secured to the base 10 by means of a hinge 20 or similar pivotal element. It will be observed that the pivotal axis is transverse to the longitudinal. dimension of base 10 and is situated immediately adjacent the forward end of the elevated platform 14. Pedal 18 may also comprise a wood board, shaped as desired, and secured to its top surface is another rubber pad 22. This pad performs very much the same purpose and function as pad 16 in that it prevents slippage between the sole of the operators shoe and the pedal 18 and it will also be understood that both said rubber pads are also adapted to resist Wear.
it will be observed that pedal 18 projects forwardly along base 10 but it is not necessarily as long as the base, forward of the platform 14. The operating position of the players foot would require that the heel be placed upon platform 14 and the sole upon pedal 18. It will be seen that the pedal is somewhat thicker than the platform is 'high (above the main body of the base 10) so that the back end of the pedal projects upwardly from said platform forming what may be described as a shoulder. This shoulder serves as a stop relative to the heel of the operator of the device to maintain his foot in operative position.
A rubber bumper 24 is attached to base 10 adjacent and below the forward end of pedal 18. This rubber bumper serves as a stop to cushion the downward pivotal movement of the pedal while at the same time bringing said downward movement to a relatively abrupt halt. A rubber bumper 26 is situated vertically above bumper 24 and above the forward end of said pedal 18 in order to cushion the upward movement of said pedal while at the same time bringing said movement to a relatively abrupt stop. More specifically, bumper 24 may comprise a block of sponge rubber or the like cemented to the base. Bumper 26, on the other hand, may comprise a sponge rubber ball mounted on a rod 23 supported by a pair of plates 30 and 32 respectively. These plates are fastened to the sides of the base by means of fastening members .34 and they occupy substantially parallel positions. They may be joined to a third plate 36 which extends across the front of the base and the three plates together constitute an enclosure for the mechanism herein claimed to dress it up for appearance purposes.
Rod 28 extends transversely of the base and in parallel relation to the pivotal axis of the pedal. Bumper 26 is mounted thereon by simply forming a hole in said bumper and inserting the rod therethrough. Rod 28 also performs another important function, namely, that of supporting the maracas 38 and 40 for pivotal movement in accordance with the principles of this invention. Each maraca consists of a handle H and a ball-shaped shell S and a plurality of freely movable elements such as dried seeds (not shown) within the shell. Both the handle and the shell may be made of wood. A transverse hole is formed in each handle to receive rod 28 and thereby to pivotally mount the maracas thereon. Metal bushings or le ves 2 may be nserted in the ho e in he hand es in order to lessen friction between said handles and the rod.
A bracket 44 is secured to the handle of each maraca opposite its pivotal axis. A wire link 46 is pivotally se cured at one end to each of said brackets 44 and at its opposite end to the pedal 18. This may be done very simply by looping the ends of said wire link, one end around an annularly grooved finger 48 on bracket 44 and the other around a screw 59 or the like secured to the pedal. When the two maracas are disposed in generally vertical positions, the bracket 44 on maraca 33 projects forwardly (rightwardly as viewed in'the drawing) and the bracket 44 on maraca at) projects rearwardly (leftwardly as viewed in the drawing). The link 46 which is secured at one end, the upper end, to bracket 44 on maraca 38 is secured at its opposite lower end to the pedal 18 forward of rod 28. The l'nk 46 which is secured at its upper end 'to bracket 44 on maraca 4% is secured at its lower end to the pedal 18 behind said rod 28. It will also be observed that a spring 52 is secured at one end to base 10 by means of screw 54 and at the opposite end to the lower end of handle H of one of the maracas by means of an eye screw 56. It will be understood that these various fastening elements above mentioned and shown in the drawing are purely illustrative of the many kinds of fastening members which may be used for the purposes of the invention.
It will now be observed that spring 52 tends to pivot maraca 49 in clockwisedirection as viewed in Fig. 2.
Since this maraca is linked to pedal 18 by means of one of the links 46, the effect of such a spring action is to elevate the pedal as far as it is permitted to pivot by bumper 26. The elevation of the pedal to this position, shown in Fig. 2, causes the other maraca 38 to pivot in counter-clockwise direction, also as shown in Fig. 2. The mechanism is now in loaded, operative position ready for operation. The pedal 18 is depressed by the foot and maraca 40 is thereby caused to pivot in counter-clockwise direction and maraca 38 in clockwise direction, both as viewed in Fig. 2, and against the action of spring 52.
The pedal is movable between the two bumpers and as it strikes each bumper, it is brought to a halt with considerable abruptness, thereby causing the maracas to come to an equally abrupt halt and to produce the desired effects which are characteristic of manually operated maracas. Since the device is operated with one foot, the hands of the operator remain free to work other sound producing instruments or devices such as drums.
'If it be desired to store this device away or to transport it from one place to another, it may be reduced in height by simply disconnecting the links and spring so that the pedal and maracas may be pivoted to suitable positions without interference with each other and without spring opposition. The maracas may be pivoted to substantially horizontal positions. In this connection it will be noted that the free end of the pedal is tapered leftwardly and it will now be understood that the ballshaped bumper 26 is slidably movable along rod 28 to a position otfset from the tapered end of the pedal. This frees the pedal for pivotal movement into engagement with the rod 28. If the length between the pedal and maraca 38 is left intact, the other link being detached, this will render it possible to bring maraca 38 downwardly into substantially horizontal position by simply elevating the free end of the pedal into engagement with said rod 28. When 'it'is desired to put the device to use, the links or link may be re-engaged and the spring connected and the bumper 25 returned to its central position. The device is now ready for use.
The foregoing is illustrative of a preferred form of this invention and it will be understood that this preferred form may be modified and other forms maybe provided within the broad spirit of the invention and the broad scope of the claims.
1. A sound producing device of the character described, comprising a base, a pedal pivotally mounted at one end to one end of said base, a platform at said end of the base adapted to support the heel of a players foot while the sole rests upon the pedal, a pair of bumpers supported on said base, one above and the other below the free end of said pedal and limiting its movement within a predetermined range, a pair of maracas pivotally supported on said base for pivotal movement about a common axis adjacent the free end of said pedal and parallel to the pivotal axis of the pedal, each said mar-aca having handle and a bail-shaped shell containing freely movable sound producing elements, said maracas being so positioned on said base that their handles point downwardly and their shells project upwardly, a pair of links interconnecting said maracas with the free end of said pedal, whereby pivotal movement of the pedal produces pivotal movement in opposite directions of the maracas, and spring means urging the pedal into upward position against the upper bumper, the pivotal support for the maracas comprising a rod supported on the base, transversely thereof, adjacent the free end of the pedal, the handles of said maracas having transverse holes formed therein to receive said rod, whereby the maracas are supported for pivotal movement on said said common axis.
2. The combination of claim 1, wherein each link comprises a bracket secured to the maraca handle opposite said transverse rod, and a linking element which is pivotally secured at one end to said bracket and at the opposite end 'to said pedal.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,775,283 luster Sept. 9, 1930 2,132,211 Hueckstead Oct. 4, 1938 2,475,542 Boykins July 5, 1942 2,484,302 Laverents Oct. 11, 1949 2,658,421 Clayton Nov. 10, 1953