US 529893 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
W. BURKE. MUSICAL INSTRUMENT.
No. 529,893. Patented Nov. 27,1894.
Tag: 1. 7
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
WALTER BURKE, OE PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND.
SPEOIFICA'IION forming part of Letters Patent No. 529,893, dated November 27, 1894.
Application filed August 17, 1894:- Serial No. 520,548- (No model.)
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, WALTER BURKE, of Providence, in the county of Providence and State of Rhode Island, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Musical Instruments; and I hereby declare that the following is a full, clear, and exact description of the same, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, forming part of this specification.
This invention has reference to improvements in musical instruments, and particu larly to those known as string instruments, in which the musical tones are formed by the vibration of strings secured to a hollow, resonant body.
The object of the invention is to so construct an instrument of this nature that the tones of several instruments may be combined in one instrument of novel form.
. Another object is to so construct a string instrument of this nature that the playing of the same may be facilitated.
Still another object is to provide a novel and peculiar tail-piece for securing the strings to an instrument of this class.
The invention consists in the peculiar construction of the instrument, its tail-piece and finger-board together with the combination with the strings secured thereto.
The invention likewise-consistsin such other novel features of construction and combination of parts as will hereinafter be more fully described and pointed out in the claim.
Figure 1 represents a plan view of the improved instrument. Fig. 2 represents a side elevation of the same. Fig. 3 represents a View of the improved tail-piece detached from the instrument.
Similar numbers of reference designate corresponding parts throughout the. views.
Musical instruments of this class have generally been constructed with a hollow, resonant casing and a neck on which the fingerboard was located. These were designedto be supported by resting the casing against the body of the performer and embracing the neck with the thumb and fingers of the left hand, the chords struck by the fingers being limited Within the reach of the same, as where a low note was to be struck with a high note, the low note being struck by the thumb or fore finger, the highest note which could be reached in combination would depend on the stretch of thelittle finger. Again in these instruments the range of tone has been limited and a combination of string instruments played by different persons has been found to increase the melody as well as the volume of each. In the use of the mandolin it is found necessary that its high and thin metallic notes should be enriched by the full low tones of the guitar.
In carrying my invention into practice it has been my desire to produce an instrument having a range of tone, including those stringed instruments of the finger-board nature, and by its construction to facilitate the playing of the same by so arranging the case, finger-board and strings that the fingering may be accomplished without the reversing of the left hand and the support of the instrument thereby, so that a greater stretch may be allowed to the fingers thereof.
In the drawings 5 indicates a case, or body,
formed of resonant material and having ends 6 and 7 and a top 8 furnished with an opening 9, the usual sounding-post 10 being located within the casing. In the top 8 near the end 7 are secured the pins l11l which are adapted to be rotated by means of a wrench to tighten thestrings 12-12 of which each pair is tuned in unison, the opposite ends of the strings being secured in the ledge of the tail-piece 13 secured to the end 6 of the case, which will hereinafter be described. On the top 8 between the opening 9 and the end 6 is mounted the bridge 14 for supporting the strings, and to the top is secured the finger-board 15 located between the opening 9 and the end 7 and furnished with the frets 16-16.
The tail-piece 13 is formed of sheet metal I stand, or table, the end 7 being at the performers left where the fingering of the strings will be fully as convenient as the keys of a piano would be, the left hand of the performer having full control over the entire fingerboard.
lhe instrument is played by striking the strings with a small instrument made of semiflexible material, such as horn or tortoise shell, commonly used with a mandolin, and termed a pick from the picking action produced by the same on the string when a single note is to be sounded, but this picking action may be changed for a sweeping motion of the pick when several strings are intended to be acted upon nearly simultaneously. By this construction and arrangement it is practical to combine the full sounding strings of a low toned instrument with sharp metallic sounding strings of an instrument in which these tones are generally used.
Having thus described my invention, 1 claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent- The combination with a hollow, resonant casing having the ends 6 and 7 and the top 8, the bridge 14 mounted on the top, the fingerboard 15 secured to the top, the pins 1111 rotatably secured in the top at the end of the finger-board, and the tail-piece 13 having the perforated-ledge 17 and bearing-plate 18 secured to the end 6 of the case, of the strings 12-12, secured through the perforations in the ledge 17 of the tail piece, extending over the bridge and secured to the pins 11-11, as and for the purpose described.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand.
WALTER B URKE.