US 2788608 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 16, 1957 A. A. ANTHONY 2,788,608
XYLOPHONE WITH TOY DANCING FIGURES Filed Sept. 9, 1953 I 17 2? E x 7 f 4 If f I 13 1 I6 1 2 J6 I ,C n i I W H 4 IN zzvrox 13 I I I k Q 1 T 30 F E A 1.. 3 a BYWQW A T TOR YE Y5 United States Patent XYLOPHONE WITH TOY DANCING FIGURES Alfred A. Anthony, Westport, Conn. Application September 9, 1953, Serial No. 379,151
Claims. (Cl. 46-118) This invention relates to musical toys and more especially to a novelty xylophone.
It is an object of the invention to provide a xylophone which is played by striking keys, and which has a stage with dancing figures that move in response to the operation of the keys.
In the preferred form of the invention, dowels which strike against the Xylophone plates support the dancing figures so that each figure moves as a unit with its associated dowel. In accordance with one feature of the invention, the dowels are loosely held in position and left free to rotate so that the up and down movement of the dancing figures is accompanied by a haphazard turning of the figures during the operation of the Xylophone.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will appear or be pointed out as the description proceeds.
In the drawing, forming a part hereof, in which like reference characters indicate corresponding parts in all the views:
Figure 1 is a perspective view, partly broken away, of a musical toy embodying this invention;
Figure 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 2--2 of Figure 1; and
Figure 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of the Figure 2.
The musical toy includes a housing having a front wall 11 with a space behind it for a keyboard 12 comprising a plurality of keys 13. There are preferably eight keys so that the instrument can be used for playing a full octave.
Behind the keyboard there is a stage 15 having a floor 16 and a ceiling 17. There are openings 19 in the floor and ceiling, with the openings in the floor in alinement with corresponding openings in the ceiling.
A Xylophone 20 is located in the housing above the ceiling 17. The Xylophone 20 includes a plurality of plates 21 supported on a forward ridge 23 and a rearward ridge 24.
A plurality of dancing figures 25 is located on the stage. At the lower end of each of the figures 25 there is a downwardly extending dowel 27 which passes through one of the openings 19 in the floor of the stage. At the upper end of each of the dancing figures 25, there is a dowel 28 extending upwardly through one of the openings 19 in the ceiling of the stage. In the preferred construction, the downwardly extending dowels 27 and 28 are made as a single, one-piece element, and the dancing figures are molded around the mid portion of this dowel element.
The dowels 27 and 28 support the dancing figures in vertical positions, the dowels 27 and 28 are moveable up and down in the openings 19, and fit loosely in these openings 19 so that they are free to rotate. In the operation of the toy, the figures 25 move up and down with the dowels 27 and 28, and rotate in haphazard fashion to obtain variations in the movements of the dancing figures.
Each of the upwardly extending dowels 28 is located under a different one of the Xylophone plates 21, and is in position to strike the Xylophone plate as a hammer to play the Xylophone when the dowels are operated by the keys.
Figure 2 shows the construction behind the keyboard and illustrates the way in which the dancing figures are operated by the keys. A ridge 30 extends downwardly from the floor 16 of the stage. There are openings 32 in this downwardly extending ridge, there being one opening 32 for each of the keys 13. At the sides of the openings 32, there are projections 34 (Figure 3) which extend into recesses in the sides of the keys 13. These projections 34 prevent longitudinal and transverse displacement of the keys 13, but leave each key free to rock on the lower side of the opening 32 through which it extends. There is a ridge 36 ahead of the ridge support 30 for limiting upward movement of the keys 13.
Each of the keys 13 has a rearwardly extending portion 39, behind the ridge 30, for supporting one of the dancing figures 25 and its associated dowels 2'7 and 28. In the preferred construction, the downwardly extending dowel 27 rests directly on the rearward portion of the key 13.
Figure 2 shows one of the Xylophone plates 21 sup ported from the ridges 23 and 24 by felt pads 42 and held against displacement by pins 44 which extend through openings near opposite ends of the Xylophone plates 21.
In its normal position, the upper end of the dowel 2% is spaced by a substantial distance from the Xylophone plate 21. When the key 13 is depressed into contact with an abutment ridge 46 which limits downward movement of the keys, the upper end of the dowel 27 is close to, but still spaced some distance below the plate 21.
When the key 13 is depressed rapidly, the inertia of the dancing figure 25, and its associated dowels 27 and 28, causes the dowel 28 to strike the Xylophone plate 21 as a hammer. After striking the plate, the dowel 28 moves downward, even though the key 13 is held down, leaving the Xylophone plate free to vibrate with a clear note.
The Xylophone 20 can be located in other positions in the housing, and the plates of the Xylophone may be struck by other portions of the operating mechanism, but in the preferred construction the dowels 27 and 28 are used to serve the dual function of operating the dancing figures and acting also as the hammer elements for playing the Xylophone.
The housing 10 has a back wall St) which provides an attractive back Wall for the stage and which conceals the inside of the housing below the stage. The back wall 50 has openings 51 into the Xylophone compartment of the housing so that the sound rrom the Xylophone escapes more easily from the housing. The back wall 50 can be made to terminate at the ceiling of the stage so that the xylophone chamber is entirely open at the back of the toy, but the extension of the back wall to the top of the housing has the advantage of bracing the top of the housing so that the toy can be made of thinner material. The preferred construction uses a molded plastic housing which is attractive in appearance and particularly well-suited for a musical instrument of this kind because the plastic reflects the sound and gives the xylephone a sharp and lively tone.
The preferred construction has been illustrated and described, but changes and modifications can be made without departing from the invention as defined in the claims.
What is claimed is:
' 1. A musical toy including a housing having a front wall and an open space behind the front wall for a row of keys, a stage behind the space for the keys, said stage having a floor and a ceiling, a row of keys located in the space provided between the front wall and the stage, a plurality of dancing figures on the stage, dowels attached to the upper and lower ends of the dancing figures and extending through the ceiling and floor, respectively, each of' the dowels which extend through't-he fioor of the stage being located in position to be moved up and down by the operation of a diflerent one of the keys, and a Xylophone located above the stage and having separate plates in position to be struck by the upper ends of the dowels which are connected with the upper ends of the different figures.
2. A musical toy including a housing having a row of keys, a stage, supports for a row of xylophone plates located above the stage, a plurality of dancing figures on the stage corresponding to the different keys, and motion transmitting connections through which each key operates an associated dancing figure, separate elements for striking the different xylophone plates, said elements being connected with the dancing figures.
3. A musical toy including a housing having a front wall, a keyboard comprising a row of keys located behind the front wall, a support on which the keys are pivoted for rocking movement, a stage behind the keys, the stage having a floor and ceiling, supports for Xylophone plates located in the housing above the ceiling of the stage, a plurality of dancing figures on the stage corresponding to the number of keys and the Xylophone plates, dowels extending upwardly and downwardly from the respective figures through the ceiling and floor, respectively, of the stage, each of the upwardly extending dowels being located under a different one of the Xylophone plates and in position to strike the plate when moved upwardly, and each of the downwardly extending dowels contacting with a rearwardly extending portion of one of the keys of the keyboard.
4. A musical toy including a housing having a front wall, a keyboard located behind the front wall and comprising a row of keys, a ridge carn'ed by the housing, behind the keyboard, and on which'the keys rest, projecc 4 tions on the ridge engaging recesses in the sides of the keys for holding the keys against longitudinal and transverse displacement while leaving them free to rock about a horizontal axis, a stage in the housing behind a keyboard, the stage having a floor and ceiling, supports in the housing above the ceiling for Xylophone plates, a plurality of Xylophone plates carried by said supports and corresponding with the keys of'the keyboard, dancing figures on the stage with dowels extending upwardly and downwardly from each of the dancing figures through openings in the ceiling and floor, respectively, of the stage, the upwardly extending dowels being located under the difierent Xylophone plates and in position to strike the plates as hammers for operating the Xylophone, and the downwardly extending dowels contacting with the top surface of rearwardly extending portions of the keys behind the ridge on which the keys are supported so that downward movement of any key pushes anassociated dancing figure upwardly for bringingthe dowel above that figure into contact with a corresponding Xylophone plate. 5. A novelty Xylophone including a housing having a keyboard comprising a plurality of keys, a support within the housing and on which the keys are supported, a xylophone carried by the housing and having a plurality of plates, a stage behind the keyboard, the stage having a floor with openings therein, a plurality of vertically reciprocating dancing figures on the stage with portions of the figures extending through the openings in the floor of the stage and into contact with rearwardly extending ends of the keys behind the support on which the keys rest so that operation of the keys moves the dancing figures up and down, the sides of the openings in the floor serving as guides for the reciprocating figures, and means associated with each key and connected with the respective figures in position to strike one of the plates of the Xylophone in response to the operation of the key.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 161,017 Goetz NOV. 28, 1950 243,096 Bailey June 21, 1881 2,596,866 Portogallo May 13, 1952