Albert Practice Violin Patent Model

Description (Brief)
This practice mute violin was invented by Charles Francis Albert in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1877. The violin was awarded U.S. Patent number 189,677, on April 17, 1877. Charles Francis Albert was born in Freiburg (Baden), Germany in 1842. His father, John, and brother, Eugene John Albert, emigrated to Philadelphia, where Charles eventually joined them. Once there, he invented several accessories for the violinist. A string gauge, a triple-wound "Albert G-string," a rosin formulation, a chin rest, and this practice violin are among those new ideas he introduced. Albert’s patent for a practice violin specifies his intention to create an instrument that represented a violin in overall size and feel, but would have reduced sound for practice, a collapsible configuration for easy transport, and an adjustable bridge to set the strings closer or farther from the fingerboard to accommodate the proficiency level of the player. Albert states in this patent document, "these subdued tones permit the player to practice without that injury to the nervous system which results from long-continued playing on an ordinary instrument. Learners, moreover, can practice without disturbing their neighbors."
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
patent date
Albert, Charles Francis
overall: 23 5/8 in x 7 3/4 in x 2 1/2 in; 60.0075 cm x 19.685 cm x 6.35 cm
Place Made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
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
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.