US 3426477 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 11,1969 s. s. NOVACO 3,425,477 ONEFPIECE AIR FLOW ACTUATED SOUND PRODUCING DEVICE Filed July 18. 1966 Sheet of 2 /6 25 27.22 ffy- INVENTOR. as'lanlg M fz ca,
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Amrngys United States Patent 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Novel sound producing devices for use in hollow resilient articles such as squeeze toys comprise an open-ended tubular body having a plurality of integral longitudinal panels disposed internally of the body and at an angle to the axis thereof. Each panel contains at least one longitudinal slot and an integral harmonic reed disposed to vibrate with respect to said slot. At least two of the integral harmonic reeds are disposed with their fixed and free ends in reverse relationship to the fixed and free ends of another of the reeds, whereby at least one reed is caused to vibrate by air flowing in either direction through the body, thus producing a sound on either squeezing the toy or permitting it to expand to its normal state after releasing the squeezing pressure.
This invention relates to an air flow actuated sound device of the type adapted to be installed in hollow resilient or compressible toys or other articles, being so connected therewith that, when the toy or article is squeezed, air will be caused to flow outwardly through the device with sound producing effect, and/or, if desired, when the toy or article expands after squeezing pressure is released, air will be caused to flow inwardly through the device with sound producing effect.
Sound producing devices, frequently referred to as noise makers, for use in hollow resilient toys or other articles, as heretofore known, have comprised tubular bodies having separate metallic flapper type reeds inserted therein, the assembly of the latter with the sup porting body being usually performed by hand, thus involving relatively high cost in labor and time. Such separate flapper type reeds also are subject to risk of detachment from the supporting body in which they are inserted. If this occurs, the device becomes inoperative, and the detached reed becomes a possible cause of injury to a child playing with the toy equipped with the device. Furthermore, such flapper type reeds produce but raucous sound rather than a musical tone.
As distinguished from the above described heretofore known device having a separate flapper type reed assembled therewith, it is an object of this invention to provide a novel sound producing device (hereinafter sometimes referred to as a whistle rather than a noise-maker) which can be molded, as a complete integral structure, from suitable synthetic plastic material, preferably a thermoplastic synthetic resin such as polystyrene, and capable of being shaped by an injection molding process, including harmonic reed or reeds integral therewith, thus providing a complete one-piece structure, having no parts risking accidental separation or detachment therefrom, and thereby providing a structure which, in production thereof, requires no expenditure of high band labor cost or time, and which, in use, produces pleasing musical sound or tone, or a plurality of the latter if desired.
Another and more specific object of this invention is to provide a one-piece sound producing device or whistle, of the general character above set forth, comprising a substantially tubular body within and across the bore of which is positioned an integral transverse portion struc- 3,426,477 Patented Feb. 11, 1969 ture having lengthwise extending panels obliquely inclined relative to the longitudinal axis of the tubular body, said panels converging toward an end, preferably the inner end of the body bore; one or both of said partitioning panels being provided with one or more harmonic reeds formed integrally therewith, to overlie a slot or opening therein which is or are coextensive and in register with the reed or reeds; the reed or reeds being consequently located entirely within the bore interior of the body, and thus protected against injury when mounting the device or whistle in operative connection with a toy or other article which it is to serve.
The above and other objects will be understood from a reading of the following description of illustrative embodiments of this invention in connection with the accompanying drawings thereof; in which drawings:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a sound producing device or whistle according to this invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan elevational view of the same;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view thereof, taken on line 3-3 in FIG. 1, and drawn on an enlarged scale;
FIG. 4 is an outer end elevational view as seen from the left of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is an inner end elevational view as seen from the right of FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view, similar to that of FIG. 3, but drawn on reduced scale, the same illustrating means for modifying the pitch of sounds produced by the reed or reeds of the device or whistle.
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view, similar to that of FIG. 1, but showing a modified arrangement of harmonic reeds therein; and FIG. 8 is a similar view showing another modified arrangement of harmonic reeds.
FIG. 9 is a side elevational view, in part longitudinal section, showing a modified structure wherein a reed or reeds are integrally formed in connection with exterior wall or walls of the one-piece whistle.
Like characters of reference are employed in the above described views, to indicate corresponding parts of the one-piece device or whistle of this invention.
Referring first to FIGS. 1 to 5 inclusive, wherein is shown a preferred form of the one-piece sound producing device or whistle according to this invention, the reference character 10 indicates the complete device which is in the form of an elongated tubular body, preferably of circular cross-sectional shape, but which can be of any other desired cross-sectional shape, said body defining an axial bore 11. The outer end portion of the body 10 is formed to provide means for attaching the same to a hollow compressible toy or other article into which it can be inserted through an opening in the wall 12 thereof, shown by broken lines in FIG. 1. This attaching means comprises an external annular keeper flange 13, and an external frustoconical section 14, the outer end of the latter providing a shoulder 15 which is spaced inwardly or rearwardly from said keeper flange 13, thus forming an intermediate annular groove 16 to receive the marginal peripheral portions of the opening in wall 12, through which the body 10 is inserted to extend into the interior of the toy or other article to be served thereby. Inwardly or rearwardly of the frustoconical section 14, the body 10 is formed to provide an inner end section or barrel 17. The outer end of the bore 11 defines an external mouth 18 through which whistle actuating air can flow into and out of the interior of the whistle; and the inner end of the bore 11 defines an internal mouth 19 through which air can likewise flow into and out of the interior of the whistle.
Formed within the interior of the barrel section 17 of the body 10, as an integral part thereof, is a transverse elongated partition structure 20. This partition structure includes at least one wall or panel angularly extending relative to the longitudinal axis of the body bore 11 and to the surrounding wall of said barrel section. In integral connected with the panel is formed a harmonic reed that overlies a slot or opening in the panel that is coextensive therewith.
In a preferred form thereof, as shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the partition structure comprises laterally opposed panels 21 and 22 which are respectively obliquely inclined relative to the longitudinal axis of the body bore 11, and angular to the adjacent wall of the barrel section 17. Integrally formed in connection with one panel, e.g. panel 21, is a harmonic reed 23 having its free end directed rearwardly toward the internal mouth 19 of the body 10, and thus being responsive, with sound producing effect, to air caused to flow outwardly through the whistle; said reed 23 overlying a coextensive slot or opening 24 in said panel 21. Integrally formed in connection with the opposite panel, e.g. panel 22, is another harmonic reed 25 having its free end directed forwardly toward the external mouth 18 of the body and thus being responsive, with sound producing effect to air caused to flow inwardly through the whistle; said reed 25 overlies a coextensive slot or opening 26 in said panel 22.
It will be understood that if the whistle is desired to respond to outflowing air only, then the reed responsive to inflowing air may be omitted, and vice versa.
It will be noted that, due to the oblique inclination of the panels of the partition structure relative to the axis of the body bore 11 and to the surrounding walls of the barrel section 17 of the body, the reeds carried by the partition panels are disposed angularly to the path of air flow through the whistle. As a consequence of this it will be obvious that, since the flowing air contacts the reed or reeds at an angle, less air pressure is required to vibrate the reed or reeds with desired sound producing effect. Furthermore, due to the angular relation of the panels and their reeds relative to the surrounding walls of the barrel section 17, a venturi eifect upon the flowing air results, whereby the reed or reeds easily respond to minimum air flow pressure, or produce louder sound under a given air flow pressure.
It will also be obvious that, in the described preferred structure of the whistle, the reed or reeds are entirely enclosed within the interior of the barrel section 17, and therefore are not subject to injurious contact with the walls or other parts of the toy or other article, when inserting the whistle into the latter in operative assembly therewith.
It is desirable, but not essential, to provide the wall of the barrel section 17 with longitudinal slots 27 of suitable width, entering therethrough from the mouth 19 thereof, and located in opposite sides thereof in substantial alignment with the reeds of the partition structure 20. These slots 27 divide the wall of the barrel section into opposed, somewhat springy sections having rounded ends 28. These sections can yield one toward the other in event the hole in the wall of the toy or other article is of diameter smaller than that of the barrel section 17, thus facilitating inserting entrance of the Whistle through the toy or other article wall. This is of advantage even with respect to whistles which are produced from relatively rigid plastic material. It may, in this connection, be pointed out that, although a substantially rigid plastic formation is preferred, the whistle can be formed from plastic material modified to some degree by a suitable flexibilizing agent.
Another advantage of the provision of the slots 27, in the barrel section 17 adjacent to the reeds, is that air passages additional to the end mouths 18 and 19 are afforded. As a consequence of this, the reeds are less likely to choke under a too forceful blast of air, since the air can more easily discharge through the additional air passages, thus avoiding excess air pressure reed choking effect.
In the above described preferred construction of the one-piece whistle, the harmonic reeds in the panels of the partition structure 20 are disposed side by side. Other relative arrangement and location of the reeds can be provided. For example, as shown in FIG. 7, the two reeds 29 may be located, in connection with a selected panel, in longitudinally spaced apart relation, to extend in a desired direction, or respectively in opposite directions. In another arrangement, as shown in FIG. 8, a series of reeds may be located in a selected panel in longitudinally spaced apart relation to extend in desired direction, or with one or more thereof in reversed direction. For example, as shown, reeds 30 are directed to respond to outfiowing air, while reed 31 is directed to respond to inflowing air.
In the one-piece Whistle of this invention, the provision of integral harmonic type reeds is of considerable advantage since the same can be designed so that sounds thereof can be produced and maintained at desired pitch. In this connection, it is pointed out that the pitch of a harmonic reed can be readily adjusted as desired. The pitch of a harmonic reed depends on its length and its flex characteristics. Adding Weight to the free end of a reed, as by adhering thereto a dab or spot of plastic or other material, has the effect of lengthening the reed and thus lowering its pitch. On the other hand, by applying a dab or spot of plastic or other material adjacent to the fixed end of a reed, stiffens the fixed end portion thereof, and has the effect of shortening the flexible part of the reed, thus raising its pitch. Such adjustments are illustratively shown in FIG. 6, wherein the reed 23 is, in effect, lengthened and its pitch lowered by application to its free end of a dab or spot 32 of plastic or other material, and wherein the reed 25 is, in effect, shortened and its pitch raised by application to its fixed end portion of a dob or spot 33 of plastic or other material.
Although the above described preferred construction of the one-piece Whistle according to this invention is the most desirable, since the reed or reeds are disposed entirely within the interior of the barrel section 17, and are thus best protected against injury when assembling the whisle with a toy or other article to be served thereby, it is nevertheless also possible to produce a one-piece whistle wherein the reed or reeds form integral part or parts of the wall of the barrel section 17. A whistle so modified is shown in FIG. 9, wherein an external reed 23 and its cooperative slot 24' is formed in connection with one part of the wall of the barrel section 17, so as to be responsive to outfiowing air passing through the whistle, and wherein an internal reed 25' and its cooperative slot 26- is formed in connection with another part of the wall of the barrel section 17, so as to be responsive to inflowing air passing through the whistle. The free end of the external reed 23 is protected against injury by providing, on the barrel section wall adjacent to and opposing the free end of this reed, an external boss 34. The partition structure 20, in this case, is provided with air passage openings 35. It will be understood that one or the other of said reeds 23 or 25' may be omitted, if a single reed whistle is desired.
Various modifications with respect to the above described embodiments of my invention, as well as in details thereof, are possible within the scope of the herefollowing claims, and consequently the construction shown in the accompanying drawings are to be deemed illustrative rather than limiting.
Having now described my invention, I claim:
1. In a one-piece sound-producing device adapted to be actuated by air flow produced by compression and expansion of a hollow resilient article and having an open-ended tubular body containing a plurality of harmonic reeds integral with said body, the improvement which comprises: a plurality of panels disposed in and integral with said body, said panels extending longitudinally of said body and being disposed at an acute angle to the inner walls and longitudinal axis thereof,
whereby at least two of said panels converge at one end thereof each of said panels having a longitudinal slot therein, each of said harmonic reeds being formed integrally with one of said panels and being disposed in alignment with and substantially coextensive with one of said slots, each of said harmonic reeds having one end thereof fixed integrally to one of said panels and one end free to vibrate under the influence of air flowing through said tubular body, at least one of said harmonic reeds having its fixed and free ends disposed in reverse relation with respect to the fixed and free ends respectively of one of said other harmonic reeds, whereby at least one of said reeds vibrates in response to air flowing through said tubular body in one direction, and at least one other harmonic reed vibrates in response to air flowing through said body in the other direction.
2. A device according to claim 1 wherein at least one of said panels contains at least two slots each having an integral harmonic reed associated therewith.
3. A device according to claim 2, wherein the slots are in longitudinal alignment.
4. A device according to claim 3, wherein at least one of the harmonic reeds associated with the longitudinally aligned slots in at least one of said panels has its fixed and free ends disposed in reverse relation wi' respect to the fixed and free ends of another reed said panel.
5. A device according to claim 1 having at least 01 slot in the tubular body disposed in the plane of at lea one of the slots in one of said panels, whereby to perrr passage of air through both of said slots, to reduce tl possibility of choking of said noise making device l excess air.
6. A device according to claim 1, having at least 01 additional harmonic reed integral with said body and least one slot in the wall of said body, said addition harmonic reed being disposed in alignment with said a ditional slot and being substantially coextensive ther with.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8/1952 Hoeflich 461l 1/1963 Craft 46-11