hosted on condor3913
 Mechanical Music Digest  Archives
You Are Not Logged In Login/Get New Account
Please Log In. Accounts are free!
Logged In users are granted additional features including a more current version of the Archives and a simplified process for submitting articles.
Home Archives Calendar Gallery Store Links Info

End-of-Summer Fundraising Drive In Progress. Please visit our home page to see this and other announcements:     Thank you. --Jody

MMD > Archives > November 2000 > 2000.11.07 > 05Prev  Next

15.5" Polyphon Has No Dampers
By Houston Maples

Wayne Finger requested information about a single-comb Polyphon which
appears to have no provision for dampers [001105 MMDigest].

This is probably one of the early movements predating the use of a
damper gantry.  In this model the comb teeth are square-cut at the
tips, leaving no room for damper fingers between the teeth.  Instead,
a damper system was rigged to operate on top of the comb, hence the
extra screw holes.

The damper device was a sort of rack containing spring-copper fingers
which were poised above (and parallel to)each comb tooth.  I believe
it was created from a sheet of spring copper that was slotted to create
the individual fingers.  The underside of each finger had a tiny bit of
punched-out green felt.

The front edge of each finger was positioned so that the star wheel
point contacted the finger first and pressed it down upon the tooth.
The copper damper was released a fraction of a second before the comb
tooth was plucked.  It worked fine, except that the copper fingers wore
down rapidly and ceased functioning.

To avoid damage to the dampers, an ornamental metal shield (engraved
with the Polyphon logo) was positioned over the comb and dampers, so
that the damper device was not exposed.  It was right-angled and
attached by screws to the comb support.

If anyone has figured out a replacement system for this device, perhaps
utilizing modern materials (Teflon?) I would dearly love to hear about

Houston Maples

(Message sent Tue 7 Nov 2000, 04:31:00 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  15.5, Dampers, Has, No, Polyphon

Home    Archives    Calendar    Gallery    Store    Links    Info   

Enter text below to search the MMD Website with Google

CONTACT FORM: Click HERE to write to the editor, or to post a message about Mechanical Musical Instruments to the MMD

Unless otherwise noted, all opinions are those of the individual authors and may not represent those of the editors. Compilation copyright 1995-2022 by Jody Kravitz.

Please read our Republication Policy before copying information from or creating links to this web site.

Click HERE to contact the webmaster regarding problems with the website.

Please support publication of the MMD by donating online

Pay via PayPal

No PayPal account required

Translate This Page