That May 29, 1894 patent

 

Eventually I'll have the whole patent here, with some commentary. For now, here's the first page...

And here's the beginning of the textů

Be it known that I, Fred Menzenhauer, residing in Jersey City, in the county of Hudson and the state of New Jersey, have invented certain improvements in Guitar-Zithers, of which the following is a specification.

This invention has reference to an improved musical instrument, which combines to some extent the advantages of a guitar and a zither, and which can be played with great facility without special knowledge of the ordinary notation of music, the accompaniment being played in the nature of a guitar while the tune is played on an open scale of strings.

The invention consists of a zither-like instrument, in which an open scale of strings are arranged, and a number of strings arranged in groups so as to produce the corresponding chords for the strings of the open scale. At the front end of the instrument is arranged a rest-board for the hands while across the strings extends a an inclined detachable bracket on which the numbers of the strings of the open scale and the numbers of the groups of strings playing the chords corresponding to the same are placed. A music-rack is attached to the inclined bracket for supporting the music of the instrument.

The invention further consists of the arrangement in connection with the sounding board of the instrument, of a separate tuning string and a fretboard below the same, said fretboard being provided with frets, on which the tuning string is pressed, so as to give thereby the different tones to which the strings of the open scale are to be tuned, whereby the tuning of said strings is greatly facilitated.

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This page was banged out with Word 97, 8 Nov 98.