History of The Kazoo Through Patents
Part I--The First Kazoo
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like a kazoo, in that the sound of the player's voice (which is
amplified and distorted) controls the pitch,
This is the
first patent I have found for a kazoo type membranophone. It
consisted of a metal tube and funnel shaped bell.
The First Kazoo
In the text of the patent he refers to it as "This instrument or toy, to which I propose to give the name 'kazoo' ". So far I have found nothing that indicates why he chose the name kazoo.
This first kazoo was not the familiar 'submarine' shape.
Mr. Frost's third patent is for the instrument sold as the “Zobo” or “Zobo Horn”. Bands of boys or adults equipped with Zobos where popular in the late 1890s and early 1900s.The main difference between this and the first two being the diaphragm is perpendicular to the body of the instrument and the flow of sound, and the membrane is mounted on a rigid removable ring.
The main difference between the first two and this is the diaphragm is perpendicular to the body of the instrument and the flow of sound, rather than parallel and the membrane is mounted on a rigid removable ring.