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Publication numberUS575072 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date12 Jan 1897
Publication numberUS 575072 A, US 575072A, US-A-575072, US575072 A, US575072A
InventorsErnest J. Simpkins
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrically-operated piano attachment
US 575072 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Patented Jam 12, 1897..


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SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 575,072, dated January 12, 1897.

Application filed December 26, 1895. $erial No. 573,276. (No model.)

To all whom, it may concern:

Be it known that I, ERNEST J. SIMPKINS, of Toledo, in the county of Lucas and State of Ohio, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Electrically- Operated Piano Attachments, of which the following is a specificat-ion.

This invention relates to a new and useful improvement in electrically-operated piano attachments; and it consists in the novel features of construction and relative arrangement of parts hereinafter fully described in the specification, clearly illustrated in the drawings, and particularly pointed out in the claims.

Reference is to be had to the accompanying sheet of drawings, forming a part of this application, in which like characters are used to indicate like parts wherever they occur.

Figure 1 represents in vertical cross-section the casing of an upright piano, showing my attachment mounted therein. Fig. 2 represents in front elevation my improved at tachment mounted in position in the pianocasing, the latter appearing in cross-section. Fig. 3 represents a top plan view of my attachment. Fig. 4 represents a detailview of the bar. Fig. 5 represents a detail view of the mechanism by which the volume of tone is controlled.

My invention has in view an attachment whereby any particular key may be operated to give a predetermined tone, and at the same time the hammer mechanism may be controlled to give the desired volume of tone, as forte, piano, &c.

lVhile my invention may be carried out in several ways, I prefer, for simplicity of construction and certainty of operation ,the mechanism shown in the drawings. The kind of piano, whether square or upright, and particular make, are unimportant. The case a, the strings a, the hammer mechanism a keys a and hinged cover a may be and preferably are of the ordinary construction and arrangement.

1) represents brackets secured in any desired way to'the lower side of the board a upon which the keys are mounted. These brackets serve to support a sliding drawer b, that extends practically the whole width of the piano, or the portion of the piano occupied by the keys. Arranged at either side of the sliding drawer are castings b arranged to act as bearings for the spindles b of rolls b upon which is adapted to be wound a perforated strip If. This perforated strip or music-strip b is provided with holes or apertures in the common and well-known way, these apertures serving to control the particular key it is desired to operate, the strip being wound from one roll to the other.

1) represents a roll over which the strip passes in going from one of the rolls b to the other, and is designed to support the strip for the mechanism by which the volume of tone is controlled.

d represents magnets, one being secured beneath each key, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2. A piece of metal (1 on the under side of the key acts as a keeper for the magnet, so that when the latter is vitalized by the passage of the current the keeper (1 will be drawn by the magnet, thereby drawing down the key a to operate the hammer mechanism.

Jach of the magnets d is connected by a wire d to a spring conducting-finger (1 secured to insulating-plate (Z on the lower side of the board a, in any desired way. Each magnet is also connected by a wire 01* to the battery (1".

f represents a bar made of conducting material, provided with arms f, by which it may be pivoted in any desired way. The barf is designed to be turned into full-line position in order to press the strip b against the springfingers d when it is desired to use the attachment, and occupying the position shown in dotted lines at other times. A wire cZ connects the bar f with a resistance-coil f h represents a lever pivoted midway its ends to a casting h, secured in any desired way to the bottom of the drawer. 77, represents a link connecting one arm of the lever h to a lever r midway its ends, the said lever being pivoted at one of its ends to a portion of the casting h. The other arm of the lever h is connected by a link h to a lever r mid- IOO rection the otherlever must of necessity move in the opposite direction. These levers are arranged beneath the strip 7), and are adapted to enter apertures in the strip separate from the apertures that engage the springfingers. Suppose the lever r to have been engaged by an aperture in the strip. The strip would carry said lever r and force it between a pair of spring conducting-fingers 40, throwing the lever r in the opposite direction, in the position of the parts occupied in Figs. 2, S, and 5. If, however, the lever ris engaged by an aperture in the strip, this lever will be carried forward and pressed between spring coiulucting-fingers it, while the lever 2' will be given a movement away from the springfingers Ll represents a wire connecting the resist anee-coilf with the spring-fingers :12.

(Z represents a wire connecting the sprin fingers with the wire d that connects the pivoted bar f with the resistance-coil]? (Z represents a wire connecting the battery (Z with the spring-fii'lgers w :0.

It will be seen that when the lever r is forced between the fingers iii the current to reach the lllitgl'lGtS (Z must pass through the resistance-coilf, thereby decreasing its power and giving but a slight pull on the key a", prod ucing a soft and low tone. When, however, the lever r is operated and forced between the fingers a, the current from the battery (1 reaches the magnet by way 01"; the wire (i without passing through the resistance-coil, and hence the magnet (Z receives the full force of the current, which can be as strong as it is desired, thus giving the key a sharper pull to operate the hammer mechanism for a loud tone.

The plan of the circuits given in Fig. 3, the current passing from the battery by the wire (1" to the spring-fingers w .r. In this figure the fingers 9; are inoperative, so that the current passes by means of the linger 51;, wire (Z to the wire (1, thence to a barf, iin ger or lingers d, that rest in the apertured sheet in contact with the bar f, thence by said finger or fingers and wire (Z to the magnet (I, and thence by the wire (6" to the battery. When, however, the lever r is operated and forced between the fingers 5c, the current will go from the battery, as before, to the wire (1", to the linger ,r, thence by the wire (Z to the resistance-coil f thence by the wire d to the barf, fingers (Z and magnet (Z, as before.

In operation as the strip pass s over the bar fthe s1in-ing-fingers (1* drop into apertures into engagement with the barf, thereby cs tablishing electrical connection between the wire (1 and the wire (1' that is connected to the particular spring-finger. This operation, however, does not close the entire circuit, since it is necessary for one of the levers '2' to be also moved to close the circuit through the fingers 00 or 00'.

It will thus be seen that the circuit is closed at two points before the key is operated, the mechanism at one of these points constituting a key-selecting mechanism, while the mechanism at the other point regulates the strength of the current to be applied to the magnets (Z.

Having thus explained the nature of my invention and described a way of constructing and using the same, though "without at tempting to set forth all the forms in which it may be made or all of the modes of its use, what I claim, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is

1. In a piano, in combination, a series oikeys, a magnet adjacent to each key, a pen forated strip, a conductingbar over which said strip passes, said bar being in circuit with said magnets, a series of conductingiingcrs, each in circuit with one of said. magnets, and adapted to press upon said sheet, and contact with said bar through said periorations in said sheet, a resistance-coil, a switch mechanism for switching the circuit to said magnets through said coil, said switch mechanism having a part adapted to be moved by said strip whereby said mechanism is operated independently of said fingers.

2. The combination with a piano-action of electric means for separably actuating the different keys thereof, a music sheet or strip, sheet-controlled circuit-closers determining the operation of the keys, a resistance, and means operated by the sheet independently of the said circuit-closers for cutting said resistance into and out ol the circuit, substan tially as and for the purpose described.

The combination with a piz u1o-action, of electric means for separably actuating the different keys thereof, a music sheet or strip, shcctcontrolled circuit-closers determining the operation of the keys, a resistance, and a double-actuating sheet-controlled cut-out device operating independently of said circuitclosers to include said resistance in or excl ude it from the circuit substantially as and for the purpose described.

-l-. The combination with a pianonction, oi electric means for scparably actuating the different keys thereof, a music sheet or strip, sheet-controlled circuit-closers determining the operation of thekcys, a resistance, a pair of sheet-controlled switches, one to open and close a circuit embracing the resistance, and the other to open and close a circuit excluding the said resistance, and movement-re versing connections between said switches.

In testimony whereof I have signed my name to this specification, in the presence of two subscribing witnesses, this l-ith day of November, A. D. 1895.



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Cooperative ClassificationG10F1/02