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Патент USA US2136627

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Nov. 15, 1938‘.
M. L. LOHMAN
TYREMULANT FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Filed June 28, 1937
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2,136,627
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
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INVENTOR.
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BY
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ATTORNEY
Nov. 15, 1938. '
‘M. L. LO‘HM'AN-
2,136,627 I
TREMULANT FOR STRINGED MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Filed June 28, 1957
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ATTORNEY. ‘
2,136,627‘
Patented Nov. 15', 1938
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFIQE
72,136,627.
TREMULANT‘ FOR STRINGED MUSIC‘AL
I
INSTRUMENTS
I Melvin L. Lehman, Greeley, 0010.
Application June 28, 1937, Serial No. 150,702
5 Claims. (Cl. 84—313)
Fig. 10 is a plan view of the motor mechanism
This invention relates to a stringed musical in
employed'with the form of Fig. 5.
strument, more particularly to a type of instru
Fig. 11 is a side view of the motor mechanism.
ment such as a guitar. In the usual guitar, the
tone produced is a single smooth tone wave. A
5- tremolo effect can be obtained by a movement of
the ?ngers upon the strings.
In the drawings a typical guitar is indicated at
Iil with its neck at II, and its strings at I2.
5»;
The invention comprises a vibrating or recip
rocating bridge for supporting the strings I2.
This bridge consists of an upper bridge member
I3 shapedalong its upper face similar to any of
Such a movement
is exceedingly di?icult to produce, especially when
playing a plurality of strings or cords simul
\ taneously, and can only be obtained by the most
the usual guitar bridges, that is, it has a saddle mi
103 skilled musicians.
The principal object of this invention is to pro
vide means for producing a tremolo in the tone of
a stringed instrument Without requiring any skill
on the part of the musician or any movement of
15 ' his ?ngers.
‘
I
'
bar I4 over which the strings pass and a separat
ing ridge I5 for holding the strings in their proper
separated positions. A lower bridge member I6
is secured to the front of the guitar immediately
below the upper bridge member I3.
15'.
'
A roller plate I'I covers the lower bridge mem
Another object of the invention is to provide a
tremulant for stringed instruments in which the
tremolo frequency can be varied to suit the par
ticular composition being played, and so that the
20 variations in frequency can beaccomplished while
playing without the use of the hands of the player.
A further object is to provide a construction
which will impart a mechanical vibration to the
strings of a stringed instrument without impart
25 ing any extraneous mechanical noises.
ber I6, and an upper plate I8 is secured along the
bottom of the upper bridge member I3. The up
per plate I8 is preferably ?anged as shown at II!
to extend downwardly along each side of the 20.
lower bridge member I6. A pair of roller bear
ings 20 separate the two plates [1 and I8.
In Fig. 4, a bottom view of the upper plate I8
is illustrated. It will be noted that the plate is
provided with roller channels 2I for holding the
rollers 20 in place. At its midpoint it is provided
with a pocket 22 for the reception of an eccentric
disc 23.
The disc 23 is carried on the upper extremity
of a shaft 24 which extends from a bearing frame 3o
25 within the sound box through the top thereof,
through the lower bridge member I6, and through
a bearing opening in the plate II. To minimize
vibration, the bearing frame 25 is preferably
~
Other objects and advantages reside in the de
tail construction of the invention, which is de
signed for simplicity, economy, and efficiency.
These will become more apparent from the fol
30 lowing description.
In the following detailed description of the in_
vention reference is» had to the accompanying
drawings which form a part_thereof. Like nu
merals refer to like parts in all views of the draw
mounted upon a suitable cross bar or bracket 26 35
35 ings and throughout the description.
In the drawings:-—
7
v
Fig. 1 illustrates a typical guitar with the in
vention applied thereto.
Fig. 2 is a cross section therethrough, taken on
40 the line of the bridge thereof.
Fig. 3 is a detail section through the improved
bridge, taken on the line 3—-3, Fig. 2.
'
~
Fig. 4 is a bottom view of the upper bridge
plate, taken on the line 4-4, Fig. 2.
45
‘
,
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary cross section through a
similar guitar, illustrating an alternate form of
the invention.
Fig. 6 is a detail view of the tailpiece employed
in the invention.
50
Fig. 7 is a longitudinal section through an alter
nate form of bridge.
Fig. 8 is a cross section therethrough, taken on
the line 8—8, Fig. 7.
Fig. 9 is a cross section through the bridge of
55 Fig. 5, taken on the line 9-—9, Fig. 5.
extending between the sides of the sound box.
The frame supports a small electric motor 2'5
of the quiet, slow speed type. The motor,
through the medium. of a worm 28, drives a worm
gear 29, which is secured on the eccentric shaft 40,
24. Current is fed to the motor 21 through suit—
able conductors 30 extending from a plug rc
ceptacle 3| in the side wall of the guitar.
.
It can be readily seen that as the motor 2'I ro
tates the worm 28, it will rotate the shaft 24 at a 4'5;
slower speed. The shaft 24 will rotate the eccen
tric 23 within the pocket 22 to cause the upper
bridge member to vibrate laterally. This creates
a regular cycle of varying tension in the strings
I2, which will give a vibratory or tremolo effect to 50
the string tones.
The rapidity of the Vibration can be varied by
means of a variable rheostat 32 operated from a
foot treadle 33, and connected by means of a
suitable electric cord 34 to the plug receptacle 3I. 55
2
2,136,627
The operator can, by varying the pressure of his
foot, obtain various frequencies in the tremolo
tone.
To accommodate the transverse vibration of
the bridge, it is preferred to employ a pivoted
tailpiece, such as shown in Fig. 6. The tailpiece
consists of an attachment bracket 31, which is
secured to the end of the guitar in the usual man
ner. A tailpiece 38 is pivoted to the bracket 31
10 upon a suitable pivot pin 39 to allow the strings
to swing laterally with the reciprocation of the
bridge.
In Figs. 7 and 8, an alternate form of the in
vention is illustrated in which the rollers are
15 eliminated, and an upper bridge 40 slides directly
upon the lower bridge 4|. In this form, a pin
42 extends downwardly from the upper bridge
through a slot 43, and terminates in a slotted ex
tremity 44 that rides upon a crank pin or eccen
20 tric pin 45. It can be readily seen that as the
pin 45 is rotated, it will impart a reciprocation to
the upper bridge 45, as in the preceding form.
In Figs. 5, 9, 10, and 11, still another form of
the invention is illustrated. In this form, a
25 bridge 45 is carried upon an L-shaped slide 41
which is secured to the top of the guitar. A
tongue and groove construction as illustrated in
Fig. 9 is employed to hold the bridge in place,
yet allow it to slide longitudinally. One extrem
30 ity of a ?exible hollow shaft 48 is secured to the
extremity of the slide 41 by means of suitable
lock nuts 49. A piano wire 55 extends through
the ?exible shaft and is secured to the bridge
46. The wire 50 is reciprocated by means of the
35 motor mechanism illustrated in Figs. 10 and 11,
in which an electric motor 5| rotates a crank
member 52 through the medium of suitable worm
gear transmission members 53. The crank mem
ber 52 contains a series of threaded crank pin
40 openings 54 into any desired one of which a crank
pin screw 55 may be threaded. The extremity
of the wire 50 terminates at the screw 55. The
extremity of the ?exible shaft 48 terminates in
a bracket 56 supported from a motor base 51.
45 It can be seen that the motor will rotate the crank
member 52, and impart a reciprocation to the
wire 50, which will in turn reciprocate the bridge
46 for the purposes above set forth.
The last described form of the invention re
50 moves the motor and all rotating parts from the
guitar so that the operation of the invention is
noiseless.
'
The threaded crank pin holes 54 are placed at
different distances from the axis of the crank
55 member 52 so that by changing the screw 55 to
various holes, an adjustment can be had in the
length of the reciprocation imparted to the wire
50
It is probably possible to provide other means
60 and mechanisms for vibrating the bridge laterally
of the axis of the strings. The above means are
simply illustrative of certain of these mecha
nisms.
It is desired to be understood that these various
means are within the scope of this invention.
While the invention has been described as applied
to a guitar, it would operate on any stringed
instrument such as a piano.
While a speci?c form of the improvement has
been described and illustrated herein, it is desired
to be understood that the same may be varied,
within the scope of the appended claims, without
departing from the spirit of the invention.
Having thus described the invention, what is
claimed and desired secured by Letters Patent
is:—
1. In a stringed musical instrument of the type
having strings stretched over a bridge member, 10
means for producing a tremolo effect in the tones
of said strings comprising: means for supporting
said bridge so that it may move transversely; and
means for imparting a reciprocatory movement
to said bridge in a plane parallel to the plane of 15
said strings and in a direction transverse to the
normal axis of said strings.
2. In a stringed musical instrument of the type
having strings stretched over a bridge member,
means for producing a tremolo effect in the tones 20
of said strings comprising: a slide member for
supporting said bridge so that it may move later
ally of said strings; and means for reciprocating
said bridge sideways on the front face of said
instrument.
25
3. In a stringed musical instrument of the
type having strings stretched over a sound box,
means for imparting a tremulant effect to the
tone of said strings comprising: a lower bridge
member secured to said sound box beneath said 80
strings; an upper bridge member movably
mounted on and supporting said strings over said
lower bridge member; and means for recipro
cally moving said upper bridge member on said
lower bridge member to produce a vibratory ten 35
sion in said strings.
4. In a stringed musical instrument of the type
having strings stretched over a sound box, means
for imparting a tremulant effect to the tone of
said strings comprising: a lower bridge member 40;
secured to said sound box beneath said strings;
an upper bridge member movably mounted on
and supporting said strings over said lower bridge
member; means for reciprocally moving said up
per bridge member on said lower bridge member
to produce a vibratory tension in said strings;
and guide members for holding the upper and
lower bridge members in alignment with each
other.
5. In a stringed musical instrument of the type
50
having strings stretched over a sound box, means
for imparting a tremulant effect to the tone of
said strings comprising: a lower bridge member
secured to said sound box beneath said strings;
an upper bridge member movably mounted on
and supporting said strings over said lower
bridge member; guide means on said bridge mem
bers for guiding the movement of said upper
bridge member in a direction transverse to the
axis of said strings; a motor operated recipro 60
cating mechanism; and means for transmitting
the movements of said latter mechanism to said
upper bridge member to reciprocate the latter on
said lower bridge member.
MELVIN L. LOHMAN.
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