William Southwell Junior's Pianoforte Patent of 1837 (No. 7424)
The National Archives, UK, C54/11833

Patent Drawing1

1837 patent drawing

Transcription of the Abridged Specification

[New lines in the original document are indicated by  ‘/’ ]

A.D. 1837, August 24.—No 7424
SOUTHWELL, William.—“Improvement in pianofortes.”


   The invention is applicable to grand, semi-grand, and square /
Pianofortes. It consists in the introduction of a moveable tongue /
with a spring into the butt of the hammer, the effect of which is /
to enable the performer “ to repeat the blow with greater facility, /
“ and thus to improve the touch in playing.” A second spring, /
acting as a semi-check, prevents the hammer from rebounding /
after a slight stroke and thus injuring the tone. When the /
hammer is struck hard, the tongue spring holds it so as to enable /
the player to repeat the blow without the necessity of the key
rising more than half the usual height. /

   [Printed, 10d. Drawings. London Journal (Newton’s), vol.14 (conjoined
     series
), p.6.]



Abridged specification of William Southwell Junior’s patent No 7424 (August 24 1837) in B. Woodcroft (1871) Patents for Inventions. Abridgements of Specifications related to Music and Musical instruments A.D. 1694–1866, 2nd Edition (London: Commissioner of Patents for Inventions).


1 The illustrative drawing of this patent was first published in George S. Bozarth and Margaret Debenham (2009); ‘Piano Wars: The Legal Machinations of London Pianoforte Makers, 1795-1806’ in The Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle Vol. 42. (London: Royal Musical Association), 80 and notes 113 and 114. The original sealed Letters Patent granted to William Southwell Junior, including the full patent specification , are held in the Broadwood Archive at the Surrey History Centre (2185/JB.8/15–17); however, those records do not include a copy of the illustrative drawing held in the Patent Rolls of the National Archives, UK.
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