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Publication numberUS730098 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 2, 1903
Filing dateDec 23, 1898
Priority dateDec 23, 1898
Publication numberUS 730098 A, US 730098A, US-A-730098, US730098 A, US730098A
InventorsGeorge Howlett Davis
Original AssigneeGeorge Howlett Davis
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric self-playing piano attachment.
US 730098 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

No 730,098. PATENTED JUNE 2, 1903.

G. H. DAVIS.

ELECTRIC SELF PLAYING PIANO ATTACHMENT. APPLICATION rum) 1020.23, 1898.-

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No. 730,098. PATENTED JUNE 2, 1903.

v G. H. DAVIS.

ELECTRIC SELF PLAYING PIANO ATTACHMENT.

APPLICATION FILED DEC. 23. 1898.

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ziiiiL-L THTT jzzaeiaz oz' g'ffflavsy UNITED STATE Patented June 2,1903.

PATENT OFFICE.

GEORGE IIOW'LETT DAVIS, OF NEWV YORK, N. Y.

SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 730,098, dated June 2, 1903.

Application filed December 23,1898. Serial No. 700,159. (No model.)

To [bl Z whom, it may concern.-

Be it known that I, GEORGE HOWLETT DAVIS, a citizen of the United States, residing at New York, in the county of New York and State of New York, have invented a certain new, useful, and valuable Improvement in Electric Self-Playing Piano Attachments,-

of which the followingis a full, clear, and exact description.

My presentinvention relates to certain new and useful improvements in electrical selfplaying pianos; and it is the prime object of the invention to greatly simplify the general construction of instruments of this character and reduce the number of operating parts, so that the cost of manufacture and liability get out of order will also be reduced.

It is the purpose of this invention to operate the keys or the sound-producing devices of a musical instrument through the medium of a plurality of solenoid-magnets having direct connection with said keys or sound-producing devices, so as to obviate the employment of a rotary drum, electromagnets, and friction-shoes, all of which have heretofore been largely usedin self-playinginstruments.

In order to enable others skilled in the art to understand, make, and use my said improvements, I'will proceed to describe the same in detail and then follow said description with a series of claims definitely pointing out what I consider to be new and what I desire to cover by these Letters Patent.

In the accompanying drawings, forming part of this specification, Figure 1 is a transverse sectional view of a piano-keyboard with my improvement applied to the under side thereof. Fig. 2 is an enlarged detailsectional view of my solenoid-magnet, which forms the leading feature of this invention, together with the preferred form of striker-rod. Fig. 3 is a modified arrangement of my invention, showing the operating mechanism acting directly upon the sound-producing devices. Fig. 4 is a rear view showing"- the manner in which the solenoids are arranged and mounted. I

Enteringi'nto a detailed description of the several parts and their modus opercmcli, like numerals hereinafter employed refer to like parts in the several views of the drawings.

The piano-key 1 and the supporting-keyboard or frame2 are of the usual construction. The music-sheet holder, composed of the base 3, swinging frame 4, take-up roller 5, delivery-roller 6, contact-roller 7, contact-finger 8, and the perforated musicsheet 9, which latter serves to make and break the electric circuits between the said contact-roller and contact-fingers, are all of the form shown in my Patent No. 546,582, dated September17, 1895; but it must be understood that my solenoid-magnets, to be hereinafter more fully described, may be used in connection with or be controlled by any operative form of circuit making and breaking device.

In this instance I suspend my new action from a base-block 10, secured to the under side of the keyboard 2. The brackets 11, secured rigidly to the base-block 10, secure and hold in rigid position the cross-beam 12. In said cross-beam are bored a series of round holes, and into each of these holes is inserted a helix of wire 13; having the terminals 14 and 15, leading to the contact device. Within said helix is movably supported an iron core 16, which is rigidly connected to the wood connector 17 by means of the brass rod 18 sliding through the felt bushing 19 in the cap 20. The core 16 also bears at its lower end in the hushed hole 21 of cap 22. Interposed between the bottom of the connector appurtenant parts, may be said to form anextension of the core 16,'said parts all moving in unison therewith. Now Whenever the circuit is completed through the helix 13, forming with the core 16 a solenoid magnet, then the core rises under the known laws applicable to this special form of magnet, and the connector 17 and striker-rod 23 also rise therewith and cause the top end of the latter or button 25 to impinge the key 1, which in turn also rises and causes the superinduced piano-action (not shown) to be thrown into action, causing the hammer to strike the strings with a force depending upon the strength of the current allowed to pass through the helix.

As above described, the helix of the solenoid is seated in a pocket formed in the crossbeam 12 in vertical alinement with the part of the key of the sound-producing devices against which the rod 23 operates. There is an especial reason for this form of seating in that the parts are held accurately positioned in relation toeach other. Owing to the fact that the core of the solenoid moves vertically and is adjustably connected with the connector 17 should no support be provided which would hold the opposite ends of the helix against lateral movement there would be a tendency for the upper end of the helix to become displaced from its position laterally. This is due to the fact that the upward movement of the core is positive and to a fixed position, and hence any inaccuracy of adjustment or other cause might tend to attempt to limit this upward movement, with the result that some portion of,tbe actuating mechanism would necessarily give, probably in connection with the connector or the rod 18,which would then tend to force the core to a false direction of movement. This in turn would cause the upper end of the helix to be moved laterally and out of its proper position to operate smoothly with the core. Any such tendencyis prevented by holding the opposite ends of the helix against displacement, whether by the use of a pocket which wholly incloses the vertical length of the helix or which simply incloses the opposite ends, and the use of a continuous support in this connection adds to the value, for the reason that such displacement is prevented in each solenoid relatively to each other, such as might occur in the use of separate pockets secured to a base, as in the latter case the point of weakness would be in the securing means between the pocket-support and its base.

As shown and described, the core 16 is adjustably secured to the connector, and the latter is adjustably secured to the rod 23. This construction is of positive advantage in an operating device of this character. As before stated, the core moves from an adjusted position to one which is fixed regardless of its length of movement, this movement being due to the current passing through the helix. The return movement of the core and the parts carried by it is due solely to the weight of the core, the cap 20 forming the stop against downward movement. The upward movement of the core being due solely to the energizing of the helix will depend for its rapidity of movement on the strength of the current passing through the helix, a strong current causing a more rapid movement than a Weak current, and on the distance which the core travels. Instead of attempting to control this rapidity by varying the strength of the battery used I adjust the position of the core relatively to the helix so that a greater or less movement of the core in the helix, according to the distance between the top of the core and the upper end of the helix, will control the rapidity of movement of the core in the direction to sound the device. The adjustment therefore serves to vary the rapidity of movement. This control of the rapidity serves two purposes first, to change the action of a piano, and,second,to govern the stroke of the hammer, the latter being hard'er as the core moves with greater rapidity. The controlling of the action is important, inasmuch as different makes of pianos and oftentimes different pianos of the same make have their actions operate to require a touch which may vary from a weak to a strong touch, and there is also a variation in the length of the rocking movement of the keys. Where the touch is weak, there is less requirement of rapid movement of the core than where a strong touch is required, so that this adjustment forms a particular part in controlling the movement of the action, and where the upward action is more rapid there is a quicker response to the action of the make-and-break device, enabling of the playing of music where rapidity is an especial feature, thus making a construction which is more or less sensitive as the uses to which it is put require. The return movement of the core is not due to the movement of the key, but to the weight of the core, together with the parts carried thereby, thus forming a positive-acting device which will instantly return the core to its initial position as soon as the circuit is broken.

It is understood, of course, that when the distance between the top of the core and the cap 20 is changed the rod 23 must also be adjusted so that the key 2 will have no greater movement. In such case, especially where the movement of the core is considerable, the button 25 will normally be out of contact with the bottom of the key.

The principal advantage of this construction is its extreme simplicity, rendering it economical to manufacture, and having only one movable part it is unlikely to ever get out of order.

Instead of attacking the key of a piano it is obvious that my improvement may be arranged to attack the sound-producing devices 26 direct, as shown in Fig. 3.

What I claim is 1. In an electrical self-playing musical instrument the combination with the soundactuating devices; of a plurality of solenoids, a cross-beam provided with means for supporting and embracing the coils of said solenoids throughout their length, a weighted iron core movable in each solenoid, the action of the solenoid moving said core in opposition to the weight of the core, means attached to each core for operating the sound-actuating devices, said means supporting the core, and

IIC

contact making and breaking devices in circuit with the solenoids.

2. In an electric self-playing piano, the combination with the keys thereof, of a crossbeam mounted below said keys and provided with a plurality of pockets, a solenoid supported in each pocket in the beam and held against lateral movement therein, an extension on the core-piece of each solenoid arranged to engage with one of the said pianokeys to actuate the latter, a source of electric energy in circuit with the solenoids, and contact making and breaking devices.

3. In an electrical self-playing musical instrument the combination with the soundproducing devices, of a cross-beam located below said devices, said beam having a plurality of vertical openings extending therethrough arranged in longitudinal alinement, a solenoid in each of said openings, said solenoids being held against movement in said openings, a core movable in each solenoid, a contact making and breaking device for each solenoid, and means carried by the core and extending in alinement with the axis of the core for actuating the sound-producing devices during the movement of the core upwardly by the action of the solenoid, said core and means being free to move in the opposite direction independent of the sound-producing devices.

4. In an electrical self-playing musical instrument, the combination with the soundproducing devices, of a cross-beam provided with a plurality of pockets, a wire helix in each pocket, an iron core movable in each helix, a connector attached to the upper end of each core, a rod adjustably connected to each connector at one end and having its opposite and arranged to actuate the soundproducing devices, a felt 'disk or cushion below each connector, and contact making and breaking devices in circuit with the helices.

5. In an electrical self playing musical instrument the combination with the soundproducing devices, of a solenoid for each device, a weighted core movable vertically within each solenoid,- the action of the solenoid moving the core in opposition to the weight thereof, a contact, making and breaking device, and means carried by the core and extending in alinement with the axis of the core for actuating the sound-producing devices during the movement of the core upwardly by the action of the solenoid, said core and means being free to move in the opposite direction independent of the sound-producing devices under the action of the core and the actuating means carried thereby. I

6. In an electrical self-playing musical instrument, the combination with the sound producing devices; of a solenoid for each device, having its core-piece extending in a vertical direction; means for normally holding said core-piece suspended; an actuating-rod extending vertically from and in alinement with the axis of said core-piece to impart a movementto the device in one direction; and an electric make-and-break device for intermittently energizing said solenoid, whereby said core-piece will be positively moved to actuate the device by electrical action, said rod and core-piece being free to move in the opposite direction independent of the sound-producing devices.

7. The combination with sound-producing devices; of a solenoid for each device, having its core extending vertically; a connector forming the sole support for the core when in inoperative position; connector and supported thereby for actuating the devices; and energizing means for said solenoid, said means moving the core in opposition to the weight thereof.

8. The combination with sound-producing devices; of a solenoid for each device, having its core extending vertically; a connector normally resting on the helix of the solenoid and insulated therefrom, said connector by means normally located on the helix of the solenoid forming the sole support for the core when in inoperative position; a rod carried by said connector for actuating the devices; and energizing means for said solenoid, the return movement being independent of the movement of the sound-producing devices.

9. The combination with sound-producing devices; of a solenoid for each device, hav-' ing its core extending vertically; a connector adjustably connected to said core and forming the sole support therefor when in inoperative position; a rod for actuatingsaid device, adj ustably secured to said connector and supported thereby, whereby the length of movement of the core may be varied without varying the length of movement of the device; and energizing means for said solenoid, said means moving the core in opposition to the Weight thereof.

10. The combination with the sound-producing devices; of a solenoid for each device, each solenoid having its core adjustably suspended within its helix, said core having adjustable means for moving its device in one direction, the adjustment of said core serving to regulate the rapidity of movement of the core within its helix; a source of electrical energy in circuit with the helices; and a make-and-break device for each helix.

In testimony whereof I afiix my signature in presence of two witnesses.

GEORGE HOWLETT DAVIS.

Witnesses:

EDWIN FRENCH, J r., JOHN T. SAoKs.

a rod carried by said

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2651960 *Apr 7, 1952Sep 15, 1953Pierre P PattynEducational musical instrument
US2919619 *May 7, 1956Jan 5, 1960Heinz Munzfeld KarlChord player attachment for musical instruments
US3126782 *Feb 3, 1961Mar 31, 1964 Solenoid assembly means for actuating piano playing means
US3126783 *Feb 3, 1961Mar 31, 1964 Solenoid means and solenoid mounting means for pianos
US3126784 *Feb 3, 1961Mar 31, 1964 Solenoid mounting means for pianos
US3141368 *Feb 28, 1962Jul 21, 1964Gunten Lee L VonPiano with electric note playing means
US6194643Sep 2, 1999Feb 27, 2001David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US6444885Dec 21, 2000Sep 3, 2002David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US6781046Jan 30, 2001Aug 24, 2004David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US6888052May 24, 2002May 3, 2005David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US7439426Feb 15, 2006Oct 21, 2008David MeiselActuation system for keyboard pedal lyre
US20010017075 *Jan 30, 2001Aug 30, 2001David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
US20060179997 *Feb 15, 2006Aug 17, 2006David MeiselActuation system for keyboard pedal lyre
US20060272469 *Mar 28, 2006Dec 7, 2006David MeiselKey actuation systems for keyboard instruments
Classifications
Cooperative ClassificationG10F1/02