Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Oh, patents! Perugia’s musical heel

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

In, 1927, Perugia invented a musical heel enabling the person wearing them to make sounds with every step. However, this invention was designed with performance artists in mind, and especially circus performers, who might each have different musical shoes, and thus produce music together in various combinations.

The invention, disclosed in FR625731, consisted in a hollow and compressible rubber heel functioning as a compressible air chamber. That is, with every step the air contained inside the chamber of the rubber heel is described as compressed and forced through a sound-making instrument (10). The sound-making instrument is described as consisting in a small opening and tube equipped with a membrane that vibrates to produce a sound when air is forced through. Thus, the sound-making instrument within the heel is disclosed as both air and vibration driven, whereas the compression mechanism is variously described as consisting in a spring, that is gusseted or not. 

Two 1927 patent drawings, extracted from Perugia's musical heel patent, are included. Figure 2 shows the empty heel, and Figure 3 shows one embodiment of the invention with a gusseted spring and the small opening and tube equipped with a vibrating membrane.

No comments: