|Publication number||US3747459 A|
|Publication date||Jul 24, 1973|
|Filing date||Feb 2, 1972|
|Priority date||Feb 2, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3747459 A, US 3747459A, US-A-3747459, US3747459 A, US3747459A|
|Inventors||Jones L, Schmidt G, Smith J|
|Original Assignee||California R & D Center|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (6), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Schmidt et al.
[ July 24, 1973 22 Filed:
[ 4] MUSICAL TOY  Assignee: California R & D Center, Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Feb. 2, 1972 [21 Appl. No.: 222,809
574,758 1/1897 Paoli 84/97 2,557,061 6/1951 Goldman 84/97 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 724,156 2/1955 Great Britain 84/97 Primary Examiner-Richard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-Lawrence R. Franklin Attorney-Harold L. Jackson, Joseph W. Price et al.
 ABSTRACT A musical toy is disclosed in which a removable disc is rotatably driven by a manually operated friction wheel.
- The disc comprises downwardly extending protrusions for actuating corresponding tone producing tines of a musical comb in a predetermined sequence to produce a desired melody. The friction wheel is angularly biased with respect to the lower peripheral edge of the disc to force the edge of the disc upwardly into sliding engagement with a bearing surface and inwardly to enable the inner edge of the disc to bear against the spindle. In this manner, the friction wheel maintains a wedged grip on the disc during rotation. The tines of the musical comb are angularly oriented with respect to the travel of the disc to lower the force required of the protrusions for actuating the tines. The comb is supported between two knife edges for better support in order to produce clearer tones.
15 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures MUSICAL TOY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l.-Field of the Invention The present invention relatesto themusical toy art and more particularly to musical toys utilizing tone producing combs.
2. Description of the Prior Art A musical toy instrument of the type recited above generally includes a comb having a plurality of sound producing teeth or tines which are selectively plucked or actuated in a predetermined sequence to produce a desired melody.
A typical musical comb is described in U. S. Pat. No. 2,504,666. Such a comb includes a bar having a plurality of vibratable wires embedded at their one ends in the bar. The bar is formed with stepped surfaces generally perpendicular to the wires to enable the length of the wires to be varied in order to produce different tones. In this manner, a musical scale is established upon plucking each wire in linear sequence. As shown, any simple melody can be produced by programing the actuator assembly to pluck the wires in a predetermined sequence.
With regard to actuating the tines of the comb, various type constructions have been utilized. One type is exemplified in U. S. Pat. No. 2,630,555. In that patent disclosure, a flexible endless belt is'utilized having a plurality of outwardly projecting protrusions mounted on the surface thereof. As the belt is rotated, each row of protrusions contacts the corresponding tines to produce a melody.
U. 8. Pat. No. 2,557,061 illustrates two other types of actuating assemblies. The first type utilizes a rotatable disc having protrusions extending downwardly from the bottom surface thereof to engage a musical comb mounted therebeneath. The second type utilizes a rotatable drum having similar protrusions extending outwardly therefrom for contacting the tineson the musical comb.
Although these types of musical toys have been in existence for many years, they have all suffered from various shortcomings which have severely limited their commercial utilization.
' A serious shortcoming with the prior devices is the poor audio quality produced by the musical combs. This poor audio quality is usually created by not supporting the tines properly to permit them to vibrate freely. in some constructions the tines are screwed to the base member. Not only is this unsatisfactory for producing good tonal quality, but the loosening of these screws would be deleterious to the pitch and quality of the tones produced. Moreover, such screws cannot be tightened properly by a lay person since the tightness of the screw effects the pitch and tone produced.
Another shortcoming with prior devices is that the tines of the musical combs protrudea relatively large distance through the housing to be actuated by the discs. The problem with this is that such protrusions are dangerous to small children who play with such toys.
Moreover, the discs of the prior art musical toys have always been secured to the devices. Because'of this, other discs having different sets of protrusions programed thereon could not-be freely substituted onto the toys.
Another shortcoming with prior devices is that the combs are oriented perpendicular to the travel of the actuators. Because of this, the tines must bend a great amount to be actuated. As a result, a relatively large amount of horizontal force is required to actuate the tines. Moreover, this perpendicular orientation of the tines also creates a large vertical force component which acts on the actuator. This is especially detrimental when the actuator is a rotating disc because in this embodiment, the vertical force can be great enough to lift the disc off its support.
It has been found that because of the varying lengths of the tines, the pulling force on the comb tines is uneven. This imbalance could adversely affect the operation of the actuator, especially if the actuator were a rotating disc. I
Another serious problem encountered with musical toys utilizing rotating disc actuators is that the rotating discs are not adequately secured by the drive means during operation. For this reason, the discs could be easily jostled during operation. When this happens, missednotes occur and the entire performance is of poor quality.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention obviates the above-mentioned shortcomings by providing a musical toy having a safe and secure construction for easy and dependable oper ation.
The musical toy comprises a body having a top cover member. A groove spindle is mounted at the center of the cover member for rotatably receiving a disc. The periphery of the disc extends into a slot with the upper surface of the disc slidingly engaging a bearing surface while the lower surface of the disc engages a friction wheel to be frictionally driven thereby. The friction surface of the drive wheel is oriented on a bias with respect to the wheel axis to create a horizontal and a vertical force component on the disc. The horizontal force component biases the disc against the spindle while the vertical force component biases the upper peripheral edge of the disc against the bearing surface.
The bottom surface of the disc comprises a plurality of downwardly extending protrusions which are adapted to engage registering tines of a musical comb. The musical comb comprises a bar having a plurality of tines integrally formed therewith and extending outwardly from the one edge thereof. The edge of the bar is progressively stepped to create tines of varying lengths. However, at some levels, two tines are of identical lengths to permit alternate actuation of the two tines on successive notes. The comb bar and tines are mounted between two knife edges to produce a firm support during operation. The comb tines are angularly mounted with respect to the travel of the disc in order to require less bending or actuating force and also to reduce the vertical force tending to lift the disc. The thickness of the tines progressively diminishes from the longest tine to the shortest to equalize the bending forces required to actuate the tines. Finally, safety teeth are mounted on the cover member between each tinefor preventing the disc to be pressed against the tines and preventing children from injuring themselves on the protruding tines.
An important advantage of the present invention is that the friction drive means not only drives the actuating disc but the drive means also provides stable support for the disc in two directions.
Another important advantage of the present invention is that the double knife edge support enables the tines to vibrate efficaciously with little or no dampening involved.
Another important advantage of the present invention is that the slanted orientation of the tines enables them to operate more efficiently to directly couple vertical vibrations to the cover which radiates them like a speaker.
An important advantage of the musical comb of the present invention is that the duplication of identical tines enables them to be alternately actuated in succession to enable each tine to vibrate fully without any dampening occurring from the plucking protuberance of the next note of the disc.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONOF THE DRAWINGS:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a musical toy of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the musical toy taken along lines 2-2. of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the musical toy taken along lines 3--3 of FIG. 1;
, FIG. 4 is a plan view of the musical comb;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the mounting plate;
and y FIG. 6 is'an enlarged fragmentary view of a comb tine travel.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 3 illustrate a musical toy, generally indicated by arrow 10, comprising a body formed by two side panels 11 and 12, a
back panel (not shown), a cover member 15, and a bottom panel 16. The interior surfaces of the two side panels 11 and 12 have a plurality of parallel grooves 17 formed therein for receiving and storing any unused discs or records.
I The cover member 15 is attached to the top edges of the panels 11 and 12 by means ofa plurality of bolts 19. The bottom panel 16 extends into a pair of grooves 20 formed in the side panels 11 and 12 and is preferably secured thereto by means of an adhesive. A spindle 21 is mounted on the center of the cover member 15. A disc 23 is removably mounted on the cover member 15 with the center hole of the disc 23 adapted to receive the spindle 21. A projection 25 is formed on the upper portion of the spindle 21 and is adapted to extend over the top inner edge of the disc 23.
A hood 27 is formed on the edge of the cover member 15 and functions to receive a hand crank 29 rotatably journaled thereon. A friction wheel 31 is mounted on the inner end of thecrank 29 and includes an annular surface 32 which is adapted to frictionally engage the bottom of the peripheral edge 33 of the disc 23. The top portion of the hood 27 includes a bearing surface 34 formed thereon which is located directly above the friction wheel 31 and is adapted to be in sliding contact with the top of the peripheral edge of the disc 23. It should be noted that the bearing surface 34 is of a relatively smooth finish and is preferably made of a self-lubricating material, while the friction wheel is of a relatively coarse finish.
As shown in FIG. 2, the peripheral surface 32 of the friction wheel 31 is on a bias with respect to the axis thereof. The reason for this will be discussed hereinafter.
The bottom surface of the disc 23 includes a plurality of downwardly extending protrusions 39 which are adapted to contact and actuate a musical comb, generally indicated by arrow 40. FIG. 4 more clearly illustrates the comb 40 which comprises a bar 41 having a plurality of tone producing tines 43 extending out of the one side thereof. The height of the bar 41 is progressively graduated in order to form tines 43 of varying lengths. The longest tines, of course, produce the lowest notes, while the shortest tines produce the highest.
It is important to note that the cross section of the tines progressively diminishes from the longest tine to the shortest. The reason for this will be discussed hereinafter. It is also important to note that some of the tines 43 are duplicated as to their lengths. The pairs are indicated by numerals 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, and 49.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, the comb 40 is adapted to be mounted beneath the cover member 15 by means of a mounting plate 50. The mounting plate 50 includes a pair of holes 51 for receiving a pair of rivets 53 which functions to couple the mounting plate 50 to a downwardly extending flange 55 formed on the cover member 15. The mounting plate 50 also includes a rectangular aperture 57 through which the comb 40 extends. The comb 40 includes a pair of holes 59 which registers with a second pair of holes 61 on the mounting plate 50 to be coupled therewith by a pair of rivets 63. According to the present invention, the comb 40 is angularly oriented with respect to the plane of the cover member 15 and the disc 23. Because of this orientation, the bar 41 is pressed against the two knife edges 65 formed by the aperture 57 and are secured in that position by the rivets 63.
FIGS. 2, 3 and 6 show the upper ends of the tines 43 extending through a plurality of slotted openings 67 formed on the cover member 15.
A plurality of safety teeth 69 are also formed on the cover member 15 between the slotted openings 67 to extend above the level of the vibrating tines 43. Such a construction prevents the child operator from injuring himself on the protruding tines 43.
OPERATION In operating the apparatus 10, a disc 23 is placed over the spindle 21 of the cover member 15. In this position the peripheral edge 33 of the disc 23 extends into the space between the bearing surface 34 and the annular surface 32 of the friction wheel 31 for mutual engagement therewith. Upon rotation of the hand crank 29, the annular surface 32 of the friction wheel 31 frictionally drives the peripheral edge 33 of the disc 23 in a rotating direction. During this frictional driving, the vertical drive component of the friction wheel 31 causes the peripheral edge 33 of the disc 23 to slidingly bear against the bearing surface 34. In this manner, the peripheral edge 33 of the disc 23 is secured during rotation and is prevented from being jarred loose during operation.
Since the annular surface 32 is on a bias with respect to the spindle 21, the driving engagement of the friction wheel 31 also creates a horizontal drive component acting on the disc 23 to urge the disc 23 against the spindle 21. The projection 25 functions to keep the disc 23 secured and prevent it from becoming disengaged during operation.
As the disc 23 rotates, the protrusions 39 extending downwardly from the disc 23 function to pass over the apertures 57 and pluck the registering tines 43 in a predetermined sequence to produce a melody.
The travel of a typical tine 43 is shown in FIG. 6. The position of the tine 43 shown in solid is the noraml rest position. As a registering protrusion 39 passes over and contacts the tine 43, the tine 43 is moved to the position shown in broken lines and then released to permit it to vibrate. During such vibrations, the tine 43 moves through an arc past the rest position with the maximum upward movement, or maximum rebound position,
shown in dotted lines. It should be noted in the full arc of travel, there is a clearance between the tine 43 and the bottom surface of the disc 23.
As described earlier, the comb 40 is angularly positioned with respect to the plane of the disc 23. An important advantage of this orientation is that the tine 43 does not have to bend as much as a vertically oriented tine. Because of this, the bending force, or the force required to actuate the tine 43, is considerably less. Moreover, this orientation creates less of a vertical force component which functions to lift the disc 43 off the apparatus. v
Another advantage of the present invention is that the removable discs enable any number of discs having different programs to be played on the toy.
Another advantage of the present invention is th double knife edge support of the comb 40. This creates a very firm support for the tines 43 to permit them to vibrate without anyv undesired dampening effects.
The particular comb construction is also novel in the fact that a number of the tines 43 are duplicated as to length to produce similar notes. The particular advantage of this construction is that successive similar notes can be played while still permitting each tine 43 to vibrate fully. This is accomplished by alternating the actuation of the matching pair of tines. By doing this, the tines have adequate time to vibrate fully without being cut short or dampened by a following protrusion. If it is desired to play three successive similar notes, the actuation of the similar tines would still be conducted alternately with the first actuated tine being actuated on the first and third occurrences. During this period, the actuated tine has sufficient time to vibrate fully before it is actuated again.
As stated previously, the longer tines have a thicker cross section than the shorter tines. The reason for this is to create a uniform resistance to bendingacross the entire comb. if the tines were of the same cross section, the shorter tines would be harder to actuate than the longer tines. This would cause an imbalance of reactive forces on the disc 23. Therefore, in accordance with the present invention, the uniform pulling resistance of the comb creates a balanced reactive force acting on the disc.
As can be seen, a new and improved musical toy is provided having 1) novel support means for maintaining the removable disc in a secure position during operation, and (2) relatively inexpensive, simple and reliable comb construction and orientation.
It should be noted that various modifications can be made to the apparatus while still remaining within the purview of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A musical toy comprising:
a recording disc member having actuating elements thereon; means connected to said housing releasably securing said disc and permitting rotative motion of said disc about its axis;
means connected to said housing for producing audible sounds; and
means for driving said recording disc member including a friction member having an outer friction surface which is positioned to engage one side of the peripheral edge of said recording disc member and a hood member having a bearing surface adapted to slidingly engage the other peripheral edge of said recording disc member to effectuate the drive of said recording disc member between said hood member and said friction member.
2. A musical toy as in claim 1 wherein the surface of said friction member is at an acute angle to the plane of said recording disc whereby a horizontal force component in the direction of said securing means is created.
3. A musical toy as in claim 1 wherein said actuating elements comprise a plurality of protrusions extending from the surface of said disc member, and said sound producing means includes a musical comb having a plurality of sound producing tines adapted to be contacted by said protrusions.
4. A musical toy as in claim 3 wherein said tines are of variable length and the cross sectional areas of said tines increase from the shortest tines to the longest tines in order to balance the forces requiredto actuate said tines.
5. A musical toy as in claim 3 wherein said friction member is an annular friction wheel.
6. A musical toy as in claim 5 wherein a cover member is mounted on said housing and said securing means is mounted on said cover member, said friction wheel surface frictionally engaging the lower peripheral edge of said disc member and said hood member extending over said friction vwheel and slidingly engaging the upper peripheral edge of said disc member.
7. A musical toy as in claim 5 wherein a cover member having a plurality of apertures are mounted on said housing and said recording disc member is rotatably mounted on said cover member, said sound producing tines extending through said apertures and a plurality of teeth-like members are mounted on the cover member adjacent said tine receiving apertures to prevent operator contact with said tines when said recording disc member is removed.
8. A musical toy comprising:
a support member mounted on said frame;
a sound member supported beneath said support member, said sound member having a plurality of sound producing tines extending outwardly therefrom, the outer extremity of said tines extending through apertures formed in said support member;
a recording member movably mounted on said frame, said recording member having a plurality of protrusions extending from a surface thereof, said recording member being oriented to enable said protrusions to contact and actuate said registering tines in a predetermined sequence to produce a desired melody;
means for moving said recording member; and
a plurality of teeth-like members mounted on said support member adjacent said tine receiving apertures to prevent operator contact with said tines when said disc is removed.
9. A musical toy as in claim 8 wherein said tines are of variable length and the cross sectional areas of said tines increase from the shortest tines to the longest tines in order to balance the forces required to actuate said tines.
10. A musical toy as in claim 8 wherein the means for moving said recording member includes a friction wheel and a bearing member with said recording member frictionally driven between said wheel and said bearing member.
11. A musical toy comprising:
a support member mounted on said frame;
a mounting plate;
a sound producing comb angularly oriented relative to said support member and supported by said support member between two knife edges formed by an elongated slot in said mounting plate, said comb extending through said slot at an angle in order to rest on two corner edges formed by said slot, said comb having a plurality of sound producing tines extending outwardly, the outer extremity of said tines extending through an aperture formed in said support member;
a recording member movably mounted on said frame, said recording member having a plurality of protrusions extending from a surface thereof, said recording member being oriented to enable said protrusions to contact and actuate said registering tines in a predetermined sequence to produce a desired melody; and
means for moving said recording member relative to said comb.
12. A musical toy as in claim 11 wherein said tines are of variable length and the cross sectional areas of said tines increase from the shortest tines to the longest tines in order to balance the forces required to actuate said tines 13. A musical toy as in claim 11 wherein said means for moving said recording member includes a friction wheel and a bearing member with said recording member frictionally driven between said wheel and said bearing member. 1
14. A musical toy comprising:
a cover member mounted on said frame;
a sound member supported beneath said cover member, said member having a plurality of sound producing tines extending outwardly therefrom, said tines being of variable lengths, the outer extremity of said tines extending through an aperture formed in said cover member, the cross sectional areas of said tines progressively increases from the shortest tines to the longest tines in order to equalize the forces required to actuate said tines;
a disc rotatably mounted on said cover member, said disc having a plurality of protrusions extending from a surface thereof, said disc being oriented to enable said protrusions to contact and actuate said registering tines in a predetermined sequence to produce a desired melody; and
means for driving said disc in a rotary direction,
15. A musical toy comprising:
a sound member connected to said housing and having a plurality of sound producing tines of variable length, the shorter tines producing the highest notes and the longest tines producing the lowest notes;
a recording member connected to said housing so that it is relatively movable with respect to said tines, said recording member having a plurality of protrusions adapted to contact and actuate said tines in a predetermined sequence to produce a desired melody, the cross sectional areas of said tines progressively increasing from said shortest tines to said longest tines in order to equalize the forces required to actuate said tines; and
means for moving said recording member.
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|US574758 *||Feb 8, 1896||Jan 5, 1897||Music-box|
|US2557061 *||Sep 29, 1950||Jun 19, 1951||Goldman David A||Music box with selective operation means|
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|US2956466 *||Jul 22, 1955||Oct 18, 1960||Mattel Incorporated Filed July 22||duncan|
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3982459 *||Feb 13, 1975||Sep 28, 1976||Tomy Kogyo Co., Inc.||Toy musical vehicle|
|US5345153 *||Mar 15, 1993||Sep 6, 1994||Michael Vaught||Ornamental closure|
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|US6013867 *||Dec 24, 1997||Jan 11, 2000||Sankyo Seiki Mfg. Co., Ltd.||Disk music box|
|US6239336||Sep 29, 1998||May 29, 2001||Sankyo Seiki Mfg. Co., Ltd.||Music box having an improved, rigid base frame|
|WO1999018562A1 *||Sep 29, 1998||Apr 15, 1999||Sankyo Seiki Seisakusho Kk||Music box|
|U.S. Classification||84/94.1, 984/204, 84/97|
|International Classification||A63H5/00, G10F1/00, G10F1/06|
|Cooperative Classification||A63H5/00, G10F1/06|
|European Classification||G10F1/06, A63H5/00|