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Publication numberUS700986 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 27, 1902
Filing dateMay 15, 1901
Priority dateMay 15, 1901
Publication numberUS 700986 A, US 700986A, US-A-700986, US700986 A, US700986A
InventorsGeorge D Smith
Original AssigneeGeorge D Smith
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Musical toy.
US 700986 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

m. 700,986.- i Patente-d May 27, 1902. a. n. smma.


(Application med May 15, 1901.5

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SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 700,986, dated May 27', 1902.

Application filed May l5l 1901. Serial No. 60,308. (No model.)

To @ZZ whom, t may concern:

Be it known that I, GEORGE D. SMITH, a citizen of the United States, residing at Buffalo, in the county of Erie and State of New York, have invented new and useful Improvements in Musical Toys or Instruments, of which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to improvements in musical toys or instruments commonly known bythe name kazoo, which comprise, essentially, a hollow instrument-body and a diaphragm adapted to be vibrated to produce musical and other sounds by directing sounds or noises into the instrument-body. In such instruments as heretofore produced there is usually a passage for the breath and soundwaves directed thereinto and a diaphragm located either at one side of or across said passage. When the diaphragm is located across the passage, there is not sufficient escape for the voice-waves and breath, and only the airvibrations produced by the diaphragm are effective in reproducing the sounds uttered. Such instruments are practically valueless in the hands of an unskilled. operator. In the other kind, where the diaphragm is located at the side of the passage, there has not prior to this invention been any provision for confining and rendering eective the air-vibrations made by the diaphragm external to the passage, and the voice-vibrations within the passage are the only effective sound-producing means. To produce the best results, both the internal voice-vibrations within the instrument on the inside of the diaphragm and the external air-vibrations caused by the diaphragm should be properly combined and controlled and mutually aid in the production of the resultant sounds.

One of the primary objects of the present invention, therefore, is to combine and control both the inner voice-vibrations on the one side of the diaphragm and the external airvibrations on the other side of the diaphragm.

Another object is to provide an instrument of the character described with a controlling passage and outlet for the inner voice-vibra tions and a conining and controlling trumpet for the outer air-vibrations.

Another object is to construct the linstrument with an enlarged chamber,which I term an air-reservoir, and a relativelycontracted outlet end for the breath and voice vibrations.

Another object is to provide an instrument with a mouthpiece or portion of novel shape or configuration, whereby the operator can without any particular attention utter into the instrumentwith great ease any variety of sounds, thus increasing the capacity of the device and facilitating its use. The elliptical shape of the mouthpiece better fits the mouth of the operator and prevents the escape of the sounds at the sides of the mouthpiece. Where a round mouthpiece is employed, it is found that a `considerable part of the sounds escape and are not directed into the instrument.

Inasmuch as the diaphragm employed must be taut and should be placed under varying degrees of tension for the best results to accom modate voices of different pitch, and inasmuch as the diaphragm becomes more or less slackened in use by the moisture contained'in the users breath, it is a further ob ject of the invention to provide means for quickly and easily placing the diaphragm under the necessary tension or for changing the degree of tension Without liability of damage to the diaphragm.

A further object is to provide the instrument with a trumpet for the external air-Vibrations, which shall also serve as the tensioning and holding means for the diaphragm.

Another object isto'construct the instrument of sheet metal,whereby the desired shape for the best results can be given to the same without materially increasing the cost or labor of manufacture. p

A still further object is the production of an instrument of the character stated which shall be of generally-improved construction and capable of greatly-improved results.

In the accompanying drawings is illustrated an instrument embodying the invention; but I desire it particularly understood that the improvements are notlimited in their useful applications to the particular form or forms therein shown for the purpose of an understanding of the invention.

In the accompanying drawings, Figure lis an elevational view of the mouth end of an IOO.

y view of a slightly-different means for the same purpose.

Like letters of reference refer to like parts in the several iigures.

A indicates the body of the instrument, which, as will be seen from the drawings, is generally tubular and comprises a relatively Wide,large,and substantially elliptical mouthpiece or end B,which gradually increases in dimensions toward a chamber C, which I term an air-reservoir, and from this chamber the body gradually tapers or diminishes, as indicated at D, toward the rear end of the instrument.y Projecting laterally or upwardly from the body intermediate of its ends and adjacent the air-reservoir is a trumpet or liaring device E for more or less coniining and controlling the external air-vibrations produced by a diaphragm, which latter is indicated at F and is located at or near the inner or lower end of the trumpet E and to one side of the passage through the body of the instrument.

The air should be more or less confined in the body A to provide a sort of air-cushion and supply of air in the reservoir, and it is for this reason that the rear portion D of the body is contracted toward its rear end. EX- periment has demonstrated that better results are obtained by gradually tapering the portion D and providing a relatively small outlet-opening G, formed, as, for instance, by means of an annular inwardly-projecting iiange H, than by simply tapering the portion D directly to the small size of the outlet-opening. The rear portion D of the body is exlternally tapered and rounded, thus enabling the same to be slipped into and form a tight joint with a trumpet or the like when it is further desired to increase the volume of the sounds produced. Experiment has demonstrated also that better results are had when the diaphragm is nearest to the passage through the body, and the metal body enables the diaphragm to be placed farther inward, and is therefore in this respect also animprovement.

As will be seen from Figs. 2 and-3 of the drawings, the body at one side of the air-reservoir is provided with a hole I, surrounded by an outwardly-projecting iange J. This flange serves as a securing means fora threaded trumpet-holding ring, (indicated at K,) and being flaredor conical provides an inclined annular bearing-seat for the diaphragm-holding annulus or ring L. As shown in said Figs. 2 and 3, the diaphragm F is secured, as

by cementing, to the ring or annulus L, and

the flange J. The trumpet E, which is provided with a screw-thread engaging the thread of the trumpet-holding ring K, has also at or near its inner or lower end an inwardly-projecting inclined ange IVI, which bears on the diaphragm-ring L at or near its inner edge. Vith such construction it will be immediately apparent that if the trumpet is screwed down onto the diaphragm-ring the latter will be bent or dished inward slightly, thus tightening the diaphragm, and the degree of tautness is governable by the amount of i'leXure given the diaphragm-ring by the turning of the trumpet. Thus an exceedingly-effective holding and tensioning means for thediaphragm is provided which will not injure the latter.

In Fig. 6 is illustrated a reversal of the parts of the diaphragm holding and tensioning means. In said figure the diaphragm F' and ring L are reversed, and the ring bears at or near its inner edge on a iiange or lip J on the instrument-body, the inner end of the trumpet in this case bearing on the outer portion of the ring L.

In Fig. 7 is shown a construction of tensioning .means differing only slightly from that disclosed in Figs. 2 and 3 in the following respects: In this case the diaphragm F2 and diaphragm-ring L2 are located between two washers N and O7 the former of which bears on a .iiat flange L3 on the body of the instrument and has an upper inclined face on which the outer edge of the diaphragmring L2 rests, and the latter of which washers has an inclined under face bearing at its inner edge on the inner edge or portion of the diaphragm-ring L2. The washers are forced together to tension the diaphragm by the trumpet, which for this purpose has an inwardly-projecting flange M2.

It will be understood that a body having the interior configuration yof the body A could not be made of wood or the like except at an expense rendering wood impractical for instruments of this character. For this reason and for the further reason that the resonant metallic tone given to the sounds by metal render the use of metal for the body a materialimprovement. Inthedrawingsthebody A is shown as being made up of two parts secured together along the joint a. This construction, however, is not essential, as the body can be otherwise made.

The use or operation of the instrument is so f IOO Ilo

having a substantially elliptical mouth portion, an enlarged air-reservoir, and a contracted outlet end, and a diaphragm over an opening in said air-reservoir, substantially as set forth.

3. In an instrument of the character described, the combination of a tubular body having a substantially elliptical mouth portion, an enlarged air-reservoir, and a tapering rear portion provided at its end with an inwardlyextending ange surrounding an outlet opening, and a diaphragm over an opening in the air-reservoir, substantially as set forth.

et. In an instrument of the character described, the combination of a tubular body portion provided with an opening and having a through-passage Which is enlarged adjacent to said opening to form an air-reservoir and is contracted at its outlet end, a diaphragm over said opening, and a trumpet-shaped device snrronnding said diaphragm, substantially as set forth.

5. The combination of a tubular body having an opening, of a diaphragm covering said opening, a ring to which said diaphragm is secured, and means for bending said ring to tension the diaphragm and for clamping the ring in place, substantially as set forth.

6. The combination With a tubular body 3o having an opening surrounded by an inclined face, of a diaphragm, a ring to which the same is secured and which rests on said inclined face, and a trumpet having a screw-threaded engagement with a part carried by the bod)T 35 and acting to bend said ring on said inclined face to tension the diaphragm, substantially as set forth.

7. The combination of a metallic tubular body having an opening intermediate of its 4o ends, an inclined flange surrounding said opening, a screw-threaded ring secured to said flange, a diaphragm, a diaphragm-ring to which the diaphragm is secured and which bears at its outer edge on said inclined flange, 4 5 and a trumpet screwed into said screwthreaded ring and having a flange Which bears on said diaphragm-ring at or near its inner edge, substantially as set forth.

Witness my hand this 9th day of May, 1901. 5o


Witnessesi JNO. J. BONNER, C. M. BENTLEY.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2513600 *May 25, 1945Jul 4, 1950Grossman Music CompanyMusical humming instrument
US3407897 *Jan 24, 1967Oct 29, 1968Hans JennyDevice for rendering visible acoustic vibrations
US4832653 *Jul 7, 1986May 23, 1989Brimms Inc.Toy musical instrument
US6491564Nov 6, 2001Dec 10, 2002Lauren F. MillerVoice amplifier toy
Cooperative ClassificationA63H5/00