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Publication numberUS579605 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 30, 1897
Filing dateMay 20, 1892
Publication numberUS 579605 A, US 579605A, US-A-579605, US579605 A, US579605A
InventorsOffig burt N. Pierce
Original AssigneeF One
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tones of musical instruments
US 579605 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

(No Model.) 2 SheetsSheet 1.


No. 579,605. Patented Mar. 30, 1897,

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'(No Model.)



Patented Mar. 30,1897.

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SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 579,605, dated March 30, 1897.

Application filed May 20, 1892.

To aZZ whom it may concern.-

Be it known that I, BURT N. PIERUE, a citizen of the United States, residing at Indianapolis, in the county of Marion and State of Indiana, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Methods of and Apparatus for Perfecting the Tones of Musical Instruments, of which the following is a specification.

In that class of musical instruments of which the violin is the most comm on example it is well known that the merits of any particular instrument cannot be finally determined ordinarily fora considerable period of time. The reason for this is that it requires long-continued vibration of the structure of the instrument to produce that resonance and softness of the tone of vibrations which is desirable. Violins and other similar instruments therefore have heretofore only become highly valuable with great age, after long continued playing had developed and perfected the desired qualities. To do this in a short time and without the great amount of manual labor heretofore necessary is the object of my said invention. I have conceived that this result may be attained by mechanical means, and I have therefore produced and will illustrate in connection herewith a mechanical apparatus by which an effect similar to that of continuous heavy playing may be produced in instruments of the character described.

Referring to the accompanying drawings, which are made a part hereof and on which similar letters of reference indicate similar parts, Figure 1 is a top or plan view of the apparatus which I have designed Fig. 2, a side elevation of the same, the central portion being broken away so that the driving mechanism may also be included; Fig. 3, a longitudinal vertical section on the dotted line 3 3 in Fig. 1 Fig. 4, a detail sectional view similar to a portion of Fig. 3, but on a larger scale; Fig. 5, a transverse sectional view on the dotted line 5 5 in Fig. 1, also on a larger scale; and Fig. 6, a detail perspective View showing more plainly the means which I have used to secure the instrument in place.

In said drawings the portions marked A represent the frame sides of the apparatus;

Serial No 433,648. (No mcdelfi B,a drum or cylinder; O, belts running from said drum or cylinder of a suitable character to pull over the strings of the instrument being treated; D, the power-shaft from which motion is imparted, and E the musical instruments being treated.

The framework consists principally of the side rails or stringers A, which should be sup ported by posts A and connected together by cross-bars A Lower stringers A are also usually provided and carry the spools or sheaves over which the belts run. 011 the inner surfaces of the stringers A are formed the seats or rests a and a for the musical i11- struments. The seats a are preferably padded or upholstered cushions secured to the face of one of the stringers A and against which the tail of the instrument rests, and the part a is usually hinged to the cross-bar A and either rests against another of the stringers A directly or is held away a short distance therefrom by a wedge c and is made adjustable by means of said wedge. This is illustrated most plainly in Fig. 6. The rest a is grooved in its face to receive the head of the musical instrument, and the groove is preferably wedge-shaped, so that the head may be forced down tightly into it and thus held very firmly while the instrument is being operated upon.

The drum or cylinder 13 is shown of considerable length (see Fig. 1) and as carrying four belts. It may obviously be made of any length and carry any number of belts and may be simply a narrow pulley carrying only one belt. The belts are secured firmly thereto at a point on the opposite side thereof from the frame, and said drum or pulley simply rocks back and forth, thus giving the belts a reciprocating motion. Upon the end of the shaft Z) to said pulley or cylinder is a crankarm I), and a connectingrod B connects a wrist-pin b on the end of said crank-arm to a wristpin (Z on a wheel D on the drivingshaft D. The distance from the shaft 1) to the wrist-pin b is greater than that from the shaft D to the wrist-pin d, and thus the reciprocal movement of the belts by rotating the cylinder B back and forth is secured. This is an ordinary and well-known mechanical expedient and may be varied, if desired.

A continuous motion, while inferior, might also be used.

The belts J, as before stated, are preferably connected to the drum or cylinder 13 at a point substantially opposite to the side where the frames A are situated, as at c, and pass thence alternately under spools or pulleys c and over the strings of the musical instruments being treated. The use of a drum having a greater peripheral surface with which the parts of the belt are in contact than the desired reciprocal motion of said belts keeps said belts at the same tension continually, which is important in carrying out my invention. Said belts may be of any material which will produce the desired vibration similarly to the material of which the strings of fiddle-bows and such like articles are made. Obviously horsehair or other fibers of a substantially similar character are desirable for this purpose. Sill; ribbon is also a desirable article, and many other materials are efficient to a greater or less degree. I have shown these belts having those portions which pass over the strings of the instrument composed of the same material that fiddle-bow strings are made between such points, as 50, as give sufficient length for the purpose. The remaining portions of the belt C in the device which I have constructed are of heavy tape, but other material may be substituted for these portions also, if desired. The essential thing is to secure the reciprocal motion of belts or strings across the strings of the instrument, which motion should be as nearly even or uniform as possible.

The power-shaft D, Fig. 9, is or may be any ordinary power-shaft and driven in any desired manner. It is shown as driven by a belt D and pulley D A fly-wheel D is also shown thereon, having a wrist-pin (Z, to which the connecting-rod B is attached.

The musical instruments E are shown as violins, and in Fig. 1 especially is illustrated how a large number of them may be treated at once, there being shown in said figure two rows and four belts, thus illustrating fourteen instruments under active treatment. Obviously any number of rows may be placed side by side, which rows may be lengthened, and other rows may be placed above those shown and the capacity of the apparatus thus increased to any extent desired. Violas, violoncellos, bass viols, and all other similar stringed instruments may be treated as effectively and in the same manner as violins, the apparatus being of proper size and shape to receive them.

By the use of my apparatus the same effect may be produced in a few weeks on musical instruments of the character described that can be produced in many years by ordinary playing. I have taken ordinary instruments such as can be commonly bought in stores for moderate prices and in a short time by the use of my method and appa "atus have so perfected and changed them that musical experts of the greatest skill have pronounced them equal to instruments of the most famous makes and greatest age. There is obviously little or no manual labor connected with the use of my apparatus and comparatively trifling expense, while the results have heretofore been achieved, if at all, by the expenditure of much time and have been attended with great uncertainty. With my method and apparatus, if an instrument is not susceptible of high development, it can be discovered with but little loss, while in the old way the final determination of the merits of the instrument could not be had except after long trial, and if it finally proved comparatively worthless, as is the case in manyinstances,was attended with great vexation and loss of time.

Having thus fully described my said inven tion, what I claim as new, and desire to cure by Letters Patent, is-

1. An apgaratus for perfecting the tones of musical instruments which consists of belts running over suitable spools or gulleys and attached to a drum or cylinder on a rockshaft, whereby a reciprocating motion is im parted to said belts.

In an apparatus for perfecting the tones of musical instruments, belts attached to a drum or pulley mounted on a rock-shaft and passing thence alternately under spools or pulleys and over the strings of musical in.- struments suitably mounted.

In an apparatus for perfecting the tones of musical instruments, belts driven by a drum or pulley and passing thence alternately under spools or pulleys and over the strings of musical instruments suitably mounted.

at. An apparatus for perfecting the tones of stringed musical instruments consisting of a support for the instrument to be operated upon, a drum or cylinder, and a suitable belt connected to said drum or cylinder and passing over the strings of said lllSlilllll'lfilll whereby the desired effect is produced by the action of the moving belt upon the strings thereof.

In an apparatus for perfecting the tones of stringed musical instruments, the combination of a framework, rests or seats for holding said instruments, belts mounted on suitable carrying mechanism, and mechanism for operating said belts, said rests or seats for the instruments and carrying mechanism for the belts being relatively positioned so that said belts pass over the strin of said instruments and in constant contact therewith during the operation, substantially as set forth.

6. The combination, in a machine for perfecting the tones of musical instruments, of padded rests a against which one end of said musical instruments may rest, hinged supports a to receive the other end of said musical instruments, and means for adjustably pressing said hinged supports against said ends whereby said musical instruments can be held firmly in place While being treated, substantially as shown and described.

7. The combination, in a machine for perfecting the tones of musical instruments, of seats or rests for said instruments, sheaves 01* pulleys behind or below said rests, a beltdriving drum, and belts running from said drum alternately under said sheaves or pu1- leys and over the strings of said musical instruments, substantially as shown and de- 10 scribed.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, at Indianapolis, Indiana, this 16th day of May, A. D. 1892.

BURT N. PIERCE. [L. s] lVitnesses:


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2651961 *Jul 25, 1949Sep 15, 1953Rudolph H HeimersViolin rest
US2911872 *Sep 17, 1957Nov 10, 1959Wendel CarlViolin breaking-in apparatus
US7227068May 17, 2004Jun 5, 2007Clayton Lee Van DorenString-mounted conditioner for stringed musical instruments
US8662245 *Jun 30, 2011Mar 4, 2014University Of South FloridaFrequency response treatment of wood paneling
Cooperative ClassificationG10D1/00