String vibrations (was Re: Stuart)

Phillip Ford
Tue, 23 Sep 2003 07:46:11 -0700

>  >Phil Ford wrote:
>>  Leaving aside the preposterous claim that he invented the bridge
>>  agraffe (perhaps he means that he invented his particular version of
>>  a bridge agraffe), I read this as saying he believes his system
>>  causes the string to vibrate only in a vertical plane.
>We spent some time working on a virtually identical device at Baldwin
>during late 1987 and early 1988. ...
>I reluctantly had to abandon the project but
>I continue to believe it is a good device and I'm glad to see someone using

I remember you talking about this device some time ago.  I believe 
the bridge agraffe (or some other type of termination other than 
bridge pins) is a good idea.  None of my comments were intended as 
criticism of the concept.

I seem to remember that you made a point of saying that Baldwin's 
device was not an 'agraffe'.  What the definition of agraffe is, is 
an interesting question.  I believe that Erard was the original 
inventor.  In french, agraffe is the word for staple.  The original 
agraffes were in fact giant staples - a U shaped piece of heavy wire 
driven into the pinblock to keep the string from being driven off the 
front termination by the hammer blow.  It evolved into what we know 
now.  Actually, what we have now is sort of pushing the envelope on 
the original definition of the term.  I wonder how far we should push 
the envelope before using a new word?  I wouldn't really call 
Stuart's device an agraffe.

>No patent application was ever submitted. We looked into the possibility
>but more experienced heads than mine felt there was sufficient prior art to
>preclude a patent being granted and the company was loath to spend the
>money to pursue the issue. I expect Stuart found the same situation. At
>least I've seen no evidence that he has attempted to patent the device.

I have not seen any American patents for Wayne Stuart or Pianos 
Australia.  I'm not familiar with Australian patents.  Based on older 
patents for string terminations that I have seen, I doubt he could 
get a patent on this device.

Phil Ford

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