"Vocalin" Violin Patent Model

Description (Brief)
This “Vocalin” violin was patented (U.S. Patent number 824316) by Lewis Cass Smith in New York, New York in 1906. The instrument is original in all structural aspects, and retains the pegs, fingerboard, top-nut, soundpost, tailpiece, saddle, button and chinrest. In his patent application Lewis Smith claims: "This invention relates to stringed musical instruments: . . . and wherein the structure and proportions will be such that tones of high quality will be produced not withstanding the fact that the instruments may have been manufactured at a low cost and without the care to such details as are vital, especially in a violin, and which occasion much expense in the manufacture of violins . . . Tones of a high quality will be produced in such instruments (Vocalins) . . . immediately after they are finished, requiring not, as is common with violins, a certain age and years of practical use to produce tones of high qualities." While the original patent describes interior bars to produce sound amplification and improvement, this instrument has the interior construction of a traditional violin.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
date made
patent date
Smith, Lewis Cass
overall: 23 3/4 in x 8 3/4 in x 3 1/2 in; 60.325 cm x 22.225 cm x 8.89 cm
Place Made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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