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These are the US patents I have found so far for kazoos and kazoids (instruments that work like kazoos, but do not consist of a body and a separate diaphragm attached to the body like a kazoo does).
They are in chronological order from oldest to newest.
I am adding information and color coding as to type of instrument. Still a bit of work to do on it. 5/30/2012


Year          #  
  1.       1877__194119_IMPROVEMENT_IN_SOUNDING_TOYS ------Carlo Arpisella --The new earliest one so far. This is one in which the vibrating surfaces consist of the whole body of the instrument. Two rigid halves held together with a spring vibrate when the player sings into the mouth hole. It appears similar to the below #1219241, #2274897,  #2331975, #2452658, #2525134, #2529693, #D158194, #2587445, and possibly D134719.
  2.       1879__214010----------------------------------------------------Simon Seller--- the earliest membrane one I've found so far. It mentions silk paper as a possible membrane material, but it is not clear what material is being referred to.  The term silk paper can refer to  paper make of silk fibers, or a paper with a silk like finish, including a very thin tissue paper. It is not known what was referred to as silk paper in 1879 when the patent was issued.
  3.       1883__270543_TOY_OR_MUSICAL_INSTRUMENT----------Warren Herbert Frost----The First Kazoo  ----The diaphragm material mentioned here is membrane or paper, but does not specify a particular kind.
  4.       1884__301711_TOY_MUSICAL_INSTRUMENT---------------Warren Herbert Frost --Does not specify what the membrane or diaphragm is to be made of.
  5.      1896__US552612-------------------------------------------------Warren Herbert Frost----Zobo Patent--Specifically calls for a loose, flexible, inelastic diaphragm such as goldbeater's skin, or any very thin inelastic  membrane, but also says he may use parchment paper or some other paper. Rubber will not do because it is elastic. A metal plate or diaphragm is excluded because it is not flexible. "The characteristic features of the diaphragm must include a uniform flexibility,  loose, soft, like the skin or paper as distinguished from metal and the inelasticity of skin or paper, as distinguished from the elasticity of thin sheet rubber."
  6. 1897__591476_JAMES_A------------------------------------------James A. Irving---This has two diaphragms right next to each other.  One is thin, stiff but elastic, such as mica, celluloid or gutta percha (latex) Against it is a stiff  perforated metal plate. Which further alters the tone of the sound of the player's voice which is first altered by the first (flexible) diaphragm. In addition the sound is further altered by a sphere (marble) vibrating against the two diaphragms.
  7. 1899__637261-------------------------------------------------------James A. Irving---"Multiphone" similar to  the above patent #591476 in that it has a double diaphragm. One is varnished paper or similar (mounted on a ring) which vibrates against the other, a stiff  perforated metal plate. Instead of the sphere or marble it has a metal pin.
  8.      1900__655109_TOY_MUSICAL_INSTRUMENT-----------------Robert Pitt---An instrument that has the air passage in a straight line with the mouth piece and a separate membrane attached to the body parallel to the air flow, like a kazoo, but has two diaphragms opposite each other.
  9.      1900__663654_CRAKOW--Songophone------------------------Louis N. Crakow---------Songophone Patent  
  10. 1902__705398_TOY_HORN
  11.      1902__US700986 -----------------------------------------------George D. Smith---The first submarine shaped kazoo  patent.
  12. 1912__1014961_ADVERTISING_NOVELTY---Frank Giles Fawkes
  13. 1914__1093806_MUSICAL_TOY----Matthew W. Sanders
  14. 1914__1118223_MABGAEET_A-----Margaret A. W. Parameter----
  15.       1917__1219241_BUCHLER---B. Buchler----An instrument similar to   #194119, #2274897,  #2331975, #2452658, #2525134, #2529693, #D158194, #2587445, and possibly D134719, in that the vibrating surfaces are part of the body of the instrument, rather than a separate membrane. 
  16. 1918__1259600_BBINA_M----------
  17.       1918__D52471 MUSICAL_TOY_OR KAZOO    Albert Cohn
  18.       1919__USD53470    Emil G. Sorg and Harry E. Richardson A musical instrument of the kazoo type.  
  19.       1920__1354959_MUSICAL_TOY     Louis H. Debs    An improvement in a musical toy of the type known as a kazoo.
  20.       1920__D56114_DESIGN_FOR_A_KAZOO
  21.       1923__US1465675------------------------Michael J. McIntyre--His 1st kazoo patent, a combination kazoo, and reed horn.
  22.       1924__1502835_MUSICAL_TOY--------Michael J. McIntyre---A combination kazoo, whistle and reed horn.
  23.       1926__1576903_FONTANELLA---------Henry F. Fontanella---- Described as "an improvement in the type of musical toys  known as a kazoo".  A small tube with a mouth hole in the center of one side  and a membrane on each end, like a Varinette. The patent does not mention an air exit hole.
  24.       1928__1676659_McINTYRE-------------Michael J. McIntyre.---A combination kazoo, whistle, reed horn, tambourine, stringed instrument.
  25.       1930__1751490_MUSICAL_TOY--------Hubert A. Myers---A musical toy of the kazoo type with multiple diaphragms, but with one resonating chamber, designed to be made of candy, gum, celluloid, or other moldable material.
  26. 1930__1751491_MUSICAL--------------Hubert A. Myers----Candy in the form of a lollypop with a hollow body and open back which is covered by a diaphragm, which produces by humming into the mouth piece.  The inventor says it produces clearer notes than those produced kazoo type toys sound, so perhaps he does not consider it a kazoo.
  27. 1930__1759953_OF_TOLEDO-----------Hubert A. Myers---An instrument with diaphragm that is supported in the middle by a post, thereby being able to have a larger diameter without needing to be thicker.  The body is designed to be made some plastic material such as gum, or hard candy. The inventor says it gives a typical kazoo like sound to the voice, so perhaps he does not consider it a kazoo.
  28.       1935__2006732_KAZOO    An improvement in a musical toy of the type known as a kazoo.
  29. 1936__USD101969-----------------------Robert D. Peebles---Described as a humming musical instrument.   A design somewhat similar to the onion or eunuch flute, except it is cylindrical instead of conical and it has a built up mouth piece instead of just a hole. From pictures, of those actually produced, at least some have a membrane on both ends, although that is not mentioned in the patent.
  30.       1939__2158445_MUSICAL_TOY-------Sidney Weiss---A musical instrument of the kazoo type.
  31.       1941__US2230835 KAZOO_DANCER-Kermit Graetz---An instrument such as a kazoo having a vibratory diaphragm on which rests a very light weight figure which appears to dance in time to the music.
  32.       1942__2274897_MUSICAL_INSTRUMENT-Hal Horne----An instrument similar to  #194119,  #1219241,  #2331975, #2452658, #2525134, #2529693, #D158194, #2587445, and possibly D134719 in that the vibrating surfaces are part of the body of the instrument, rather than a separate membrane. 
  33.       1943__2331975_MEXODICA----------Charles H. Hagopian---An instrument similar to #194119, #1219241, #2274897,  #2452658, #2525134, #2529693, #D158194, #2587445, and possibly D134719,  in that the vibrating surfaces are part of the body of the instrument, rather than a separate membrane.   The tone is also changed by finger holes.
  34.       1943__D134719_DESIGN_FOR_A_MUSICAL_WIND_INSTRU---James Ross Gillie---It doesn't really explain how it works, but it looks like similar to #194119, #1219241, #2274897,  #2331975, #2452658, #2525134, #2529693,  #D158194, and  #2587445 in that the vibrating surfaces are part of the body of the instrument, rather than a separate membrane.
  35.       1945__D142799_DESIGN_FOR_A KAZOO--Josephus Thompson---Looks like a cookie with a bite taken out of it, the indentation-or bite- being the mouth. The diaphragm is mounted on one of the flat sides.  Looks like it might be the patent for the Hum-A-Zoo.
  36.       1946__2396250_MUSICAL_TOY-----James Clayman---A combination kazoo and drum.
  37. 1948__2439736_ACOUSTIC_DEVICE--Hal Horne---It has an internal diaphragm of resilient metal or resilient alloy . The body's air space may be divided into multiple air columns.
  38.       1948__2452658_MUSICAL_INSTRUMENT--Hal Horne---An instrument similar to the above  #194119, #1219241, #2274897,  #2331975,  #2525134, #2529693, #D158194, #2587445, and possibly D134719, in that the vibrating surfaces are part of the body of the instrument, rather than a separate membrane.
  39.       1949__USD154756---------------------David John Ferrier----An ornamental design for a kazoo.
  40.       1950__2508423_TOY_DEVICE-------Howard R. Robbins---A plastic trombone shaped instrument which may be used as a kazoo or as a variable pitch whistle.
  41.       1950__2513600_MUSICAL_HUMMING_INSTRUMENT---Josephus Thompson   Further development of  patent #D142799
  42.       1950__2525134_HORNE--------------Hal Horne-----An instrument similar to #194119, #1219241, #2274897,  #2331975, #2452658, #2529693, #D158194, #2587445, and possibly D134719  in that the vibrating surfaces are part of the body of the instrument, rather than a separate membrane.
  43.       1950__2529693_MUSICAL_INSTRUMENT---Hal Horne-----An instrument similar to the above #194119, #1219241, #2274897,  #2331975, #2452658, #2525134, #D158194, #2587445, and possibly D134719  in that the vibrating surfaces are part of the body of the instrument, rather than a separate membrane.
  44.       1950__D158194_MUSICAL_INSTRUMENT---Hal Horne-----An instrument similar to the above #194119, #1219241, #2274897,  #2331975, #2452658, #2525134, #2529693, #2587445, and possibly D134719  in that the vibrating surfaces are part of the body of the instrument, rather than a separate membrane.
  45. 1951__2559124_MUSICAL_INSTRUMENT_FOB_VOCAL---Leslie W. Kerner
  46.       1952 __2587445_MUSICAL_TOY---Phillip A. Derham-----An instrument similar to #194119, #1219241, #2274897,  #2331975, #2452658, #2525134, #2529693, #D158194, and possibly D134719,  in that the vibrating surfaces are part of the body of the instrument, rather than a separate membrane.
  47. 1956__2762164_DEFORM_ABLE_CELLO_HORN---Jay P. Hester
  48.     1966__3256636_TOY_MUSICAL_INSTRUMENT_WITH_REPL---Joseph Green---A bugle shaped kazoo.
  49.       -1966__3290979_MUSICAL_DEVICE---Marvin I. Glass,  Gordon A. Barlow, & Burton C. Meyer----Not actually a different kazoo...The kazoo is just part of a One-Man-Band rig.  But it is pretty neat.
  50. 1967__3343298_TOY_HAND_HELD_VOICE_MODIFIER---Joseph Green--
  51.       1969__3484799_VOICE_AMPLIFIER_TOY---George W. Sioles, Thomas D. Murtaugh & John W. Ryan---I believe this is the red ball part of  Mattel's "Bath House Brass" instruments. The principle of it is like a Zobo or Songophone, with the membrane perpendicular to the air flow rather than parallel to it.
  52. 1975__3883982_KAZOO_AND_FACE_MASK_COMBINATION--Joseph Michael McClary---not like other instruments called kazoos, in that the membrane is perpendicular to the air stream.
  53.       1980__USD254911---John A. Larson---It looks like a kazoo with a small margarine tub stuck on the end of it, but it doesn't say why.
  54.       1983__USD269195--Phillip W. May--A kazoo in the shape of a half sphere with a small sphere for a head that looks like a ladybug.  The diaphragm is on the bottom of the half sphere.
  55.       1989__4832653_Toy_musical_instrument--Robert D. Berghash & Dan A. Jachimowicz---A toy musical instrument of the type known as a kazoo.
  56.       1989__4863411_Inflatable_toy_simulating_the_mouth of an insect---Alan W. Brown--incorporating a kazoo in the mouth piece.
  57.       1989__D300438_Toy_musical_instrument---Robert D. Berghash & Dan A. Jachimowicz---An ornimental design for a toy musical instrument (it is a kazoo, but it doesn't mention that name.
  58.       2002__US6491564 Voice_amplifier_toy--Lauren F. Miller--an improved kazoo.
  59.       2003__D473598_Wooden_kazoo---Mark S. Izen & Craig Small
  60.       2003__US6664454----Mark A. Johnson---A short bodied instrument having a long air passage by having it folded back upon itself like the instrument called a racket.  Capable of producing sounds like those of a didjeridoo, without the awkward length usual in such instruments.  It mentions that a membrane might be used. It would depend on type and placement of said membrane, whether a kazoo type instrument  would result.
  61.       2005__6837334_Acoustic_horn----Dominic Le Provost--Not really a kazoo, but light cardboard folded into shapes that could be used for kazoos or other instruments. 

Color Key

Of the 27 patents using the term kazoo, all but one (#3883982) have the air passage in a straight line with the mouth piece and a separate membrane attached to the body parallel to the air flow.
270543, US700986, D52471, USD53470, 1354959, D56114, US1465675, 1502835, 1576903, 1676659, 1751490,  2006732, 2158445, US2230835,  D142799, 2396250,  USD154756,  2508423,  3256636,  3290979,   USD254911,  USD269195,  4832653,  4863411, US6491564, D473598,


Instruments that have the air passage in a straight line with the mouth piece and a separate membrane attached to the body parallel to the air flow, like a kazoo, but are not referred to as kazoos in the patent.

214010,   301711,

An instrument that has the air passage in a straight line with the mouth piece and a separate membrane attached to the body parallel to the air flow, similar a kazoo, but has two diaphragms opposite each other.
655109


Instruments having the air passage in a straight line with the mouth piece and a separate membrane  perpendicular to the air flow.
The body after the membrane, flares to a conical / trumpet shape.    The membrane is usually stretched tight.
US552612, 663654, 3484799,


Instruments in which the vibrating surfaces are part of the body of the instrument, rather than a separate membrane:
#194119, #1219241  #2274897,  #2331975, #2452658, #2525134, #2529693, #D158194, #2587445, and possibly D134719


Instruments that aren't necessarily kazoos, but could be made into kazoos
US6664454, 6837334




In case of dead links,
please contact me at:
 motleyjust@aol.com
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kazoologist@kazoologist.org