US 3299762 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 24, 1967 GLASS ET AL 3,299,762
MUS I 0 BOX Filed Oct. 22, 1965 ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,299,762 MUSIC BOX Marvin I. Glass, Carl Ayala, and Gordon A. Barlow, Chicago, 111., assignors to Marvin Glass & Associates, Chicago, 111., a partnership Filed Oct. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 500,845 4 Claims. (CI. 84-95) The present invention relates generally to music boxes of the musical comb type, and is particularly directed to a novel and improved arrangement for providing a selection of two different tones or sounds upon the operation of the music box.
Musical toys incorporating the conventional wind-up comb type music box have long been very popular, especially with younger children. The conventional music box has been incorporated in a wide variety of toys such as simulated radios, television sets, carrousels, etc. and provide for the playing of a particular tune each time the music box is wound. Such toys, however, are generally limited to reproducing the melody of a single tune and provide for no variation in the sound produced. The present invention is particularly directed to a novel arrangement affording some variety in the sound produced by the conventional music box.
The primary object of this invention is to provide a music box with means for selectively changing the character of the sound produced by a musical comb device, to thereby give the effect of playing the same melody on a different instrument. A further object of the invention is to provide a music box of the type having a musical comb including a rotary drum and vibratable reeds or tines with means for selectively changing the frequency of vibration of the tines in order to change the pitch of the notes produced and provide an entirely different sound. Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the folowing description of selected embodiments of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a music box including mechanism in accordance with this invention:
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged front elevational view of the music box with a portion of the front wall broken away to show the internal mechanism;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary sectional view, similar to FIGURE 3 but illustrating certain of the parts in other positions; and
FIGURE 5 is a longitudinal sectional view similar to FIGURE 3 but illustrating a simplified embodiment incorporating less than all of the features of the invention seen in the principal embodiment.
With reference to FIGURES 13 it will be seen that the principal embodiment of this invention is in the form of a generally rectangular housing or music box having a speaker portion 12 and a control knob 14 on the forward wall. Within the box there is secured a generally conventional type of musical device 16 of the comb type, including a rotary drum 18 having prongs or projections 20 on its surface and a plurality of vibratable tines or reeds 22 fixed at one end and having their other end free and in position for being struck by the projections 20 on the drum. The resulting vibrations set up in the tines 22 as they are struck by the projections on the rotating drum 18 produce musical tones in a known manner. The means for rotating the drum includes a drive mechanism including a spring motor 24 having a central shaft 26 which projects through the back Wall 28 of the housing and has a knob 30 fixed thereto so that rotation of the knob will rotate the shaft 26 to Wind and tension the spring 32 for reverse rotation of the shaft upon its release. The drive from the spring motor shaft 26 to the drum 18 is conventional in nature and includes a series of gears, indicated at 34, and a rotary vane type governor 36. Since the details of this mechanism forms no part of the present invention, a more detailed explanation thereof is unnecessary.
The drum 18 and tines 22 are supported on a metal frame structure 38 which is fastened to the back wall 28 of the housing as by means of screws 40. In the conventional music box arrangement, the tines are usually formed integrally with a metal base portion which is secured to the supporting metal frame structure and, consequently, the vibrations of the tines or reeds is carried through the metal frame to the wall which acts as a sounding board. However, in the principal embodiment of the present invention there is preferably provided a strip of rubber 42 or the like between the tine base portion 44 and the frame, so as to eliminate or minimize the transmission of vibrations to the frame structure 38, for reasons to be more fully explained hereinafter. A pair of screws 46 pass through the time base 44 and the rubber strip 42 and are threaded through suitable openings in the base 38 to secure the tines in position.
Overlying the tines 22 is a relatively movable arm 48 including a bar-like member 50 at its free end, which bar is preferably faced with a thin strip of rubber 52 or other soft material. The opposite end of the arm 48 is movably supported on a boss 54 fixed to the housing, and a spring 56 is interposed between the bar and housing wall 28 to normally maintain a spaced relation between the bar member 50 and the tines 22. Overlying the bar 48 and spaced therefrom is an amplifying cone or speaker 12, which has its apex 58 disposed inwardly of the housing. The enlarged outer face of the speaker is preferably covered with a suitable decorative grill 60. The speaker 12 may be made of any suitable material having sound amplifying characteristics, including relatively stiff plastic material.
A second arm 62 is fixed to the forward wall 64 of the housing for rotation relative to its supporting member 66, and the knob 14 is provided for effecting such rotation. The free end of this second arm 62 includes a wedges haped portion 63 which is disposed for swinging movement into and out of engagement with the free end of the first movable arm 48. As the second-arm 62 is moved from its inoperative position, as seen in full in FIGURE 2, to its dotted line operative position, the wedge-shaped portion 68 is interposed between the apex 58 of the amplifying cone and the bar member 50 on the lower arm 48 (FIGURE 4). This forces the bar member 50 downwardly, against the biasing action of spring 56, into a position of contact with an intermediate portion of the tines 22. In such position, the effective length of the virbratory tines or reeds is shortened, and there is a mechanical contact directly from the tines 22 to the apex 58 of the amplifying cone through the bar 50 and the wedge-shaped member 68. The contact of the bar 50 with an intermediate portion of the tines effects the frequency of the vibration of the tines and, consequently, changes the pitch of the tone produced as the tines 22 are struck by projections 20 on the rotating dnum. Since the length of the sound waves produced is a function of the length of the vibrating member, the shortening of such member in the manner described produces a shorter sound wave and consequently a higher pitched tone. In the illustrated embodiment, this higher pitched sound is reminiscent of the sound of a marimba, as compared to the more sustained sound normally produced by a musical comb device. Furthermore, since the vibrations of the tines 22 are transmitted through the bar 50 and wedgeshaped portion 68 to the cone 12, there is a definite amplification of the sound produced.
In the illustrated embodiment of FIGURES 13, the sound of an ordinary musical comb can be produced upon operation of the drive mechanism 24, when the upper arm 62 is in the inoperative position seen in FIGURES 2 and 3 and the tines 22 are free to vibrate along their entire length. However, when the arm 62 is moved to the dotted line position seen in FIGURE 2, wherein the bar 50 is forced down onto intermediate portions of the tines 2t) and there is a direct contact between the tines, bar 50, and the amplifying cone 12 through the wedge portion 68, the above described shorter and higher pitched sounds are produced and the sound is amplified by virtue of the vibrations being transmitted through the amplifying cone 12.
There are, of course, advantages to be gained in providing a music box having means to produce two distinctively different types of sound, even though the above described amplification of sound is not provided. Such a device is illustrated in FIGURE 5, wherein a music box 76 includes a generally conventional musical oomb device having a rotating drum 72, vibratable tines or reeds 74, and spring powered mechanism '76 for effecting rotation of the drum. In addition, there is provided a pivotally mounted arm 78 pivotally supported at its mid portion by a pair of brackets 80 or the like, and having a transverse bar 82 similar to that described previously, which bar is movable into and out of contact with an intermediate portion of the vibratable tines 74. The opposite end of the arm 78 is connected with a plunger 84 extending through the forward wall 86 of the music box and biased into its outermost position by a coil spring 88. When plunger 84 is in such outermost position, the bar 82 is pressed against the tines 74 to shorten the effective vibratable length of such tines and thus produce the relative short notes of higher pitch referred to above. When the plunger 84 is pushed inwardly and latched into position, by a suitable means such as a shoulder 90 which is movable into a slot in the housing Wall 86 and rotatable with the plunger to thereby engage the inner surface of the wall and maintain the plunger in its depressed position, the arm 78 is pivoted to keep the bar 82 elevated above the tines. In such position, the
tines are free to vibrate along their entire length and will then produce the conventional sounds of ordinary musical comb devices.
Although shown and described with respect to particular structure, it will be apparent that other modifications might be made without departing from the principles of this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A musical instrument which comprises a supporting frame structure, a plurality of spaced-apart elongated vibratable tines fixed at one end to said frame and having the other end free, means carried by said frame and operable to engage said free ends and vibrate said tines, and additional means movable relative to a position of engagement with intermediate portions of said tines to thereby change the sounds produced when said tines are vibrated.
2. A musical comb device which comprises a supporting frame structure, a plurality of spaced-apart elongated vibratable tines fixed at one end to said frame and having the other end free, a rotatable drum carried by said frame and having projections thereon in position to vibrate said tines upon rotation of said drum, and means on said device which is movable relative to a position of engagement with intermediate ortions of said tines to selectively change the vibrational characteristics of said tines and thereby change the sounds produced when said tines are vibrated.
3. A musical comb device comprising a base member, a plurality of spaced, parallel, elongated vibratable tines fixed at one end to said base and :having the other end free, a rotatable drum having projections thereon disposed in position to engage the free ends of said tines upon rotation of said drum, a sound amplifying cone, and means selectively movable into a position of engagement with the apex of said cone and with an intermediate portion of each of said tines, whereby said movable means is operative to change the character of the sounds produced by the vibrations of said tines and to transmit such vibrations to said cone for amplification.
4. A musical comb device comprising a base member, a plurality of spaced parallel, elongated vibratable tines fixed at one end to said base and having the other end free, a rotatable drum 'having projections thereon disposed in position to engage the free ends of said tines upon rotation of said drum, a sound amplifying cone positioned with its apex in spaced-apart overlying relation to an intermediate portion of said tines, and means selectively movable into a position of contact with said apex and with an intermediate portion of each of said tines, whereby said movable means is operative to change the pitch of the sounds produced and transmit the vibrations of said tines to said cone for amplification of the sounds produced.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 531, 036 12/1894 Hoschke 84-95 531,359 12/ 1894 Brachhausen 8495 536,808 4/1895 Jaccard 8495 RICHARD B. WILKINSON, Primary Examiner.