Fifty-Cent Phonograph May Pierce Iron Curtain (Jan, 1956)

Fifty-Cent Phonograph May Pierce Iron Curtain

A new weapon for sending messages behind the Iron Curtain without danger of radio jamming has been offered to the U. S. by RCA. It’s a refinement of the basic hand phonograph and could be mass-produced for 50 cents each.

The little machine is in three unbreakable plastic parts—base, turntable and tone arm —and can be packed to drop by parachute.
Heart of the design is a clear-plastic semi-circular vibrator screwed inside the top end of a guard.

Builds Organ of 550 Pipes in a Garage (Dec, 1938)

Builds Organ of 550 Pipes in a Garage

Using his garage as a workshop, and giving only his spare time to the task, H. T. Adams, of Ham, Surrey, England, built the 550-pipe organ shown in the photograph at the left. Although Adams, an automotive engineer, had had no previous training in the work, he constructed every part of the twelve-foot-high organ himself, except the metal pipes. The only plans which he employed were those to guide him in assembling the intricate mechanism of the console.



The attractive harpist who is shown above comfortably submerged in 5 feet of water is illustrating one of science’s newest gifts to music: the underwater harp. This invention is not as silly as it might seem. Ever since David first serenaded King Saul, harpists have been at the mercy of moisture. Damp days changed the tune of their strings, mostly made of gut, and sometimes even caused them to snap

New “Light Piano” Using Photo Electric Cells Creates All Musical Sounds (Feb, 1931)

New “Light Piano” Using Photo Electric Cells Creates All Musical Sounds

ONE of the most amazing musical instruments ever known has been recently invented by Prof. Arthur C. Hardy of the department of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The device looks like a grand piano with a three octave keyboard, and it is not much larger than an ordinary card table. It is described by its inventor as: “an instrument in which beams of light and a photo electric cell have been utilized to produce entirely new musical sounds by optical means.”

FREAK Musical STUNTS Make Fun and PROFITS (Dec, 1933)


FOR parties, picnics, and all such gatherings where entertainment is the outstanding feature, there’s nothing that furnishes quite so much amusement as a freak musical rendition. And if you’re the person who can keep the crowd amused you’ll be the hero of the day.

A number of simple tricks in music which you can master with a little practice have been devised by Dr. C. C. Wiedemann, a prof at the University of Nebraska. Not only can you liven up a party with these stunts, but, if you’re good enough, you can earn a few extra shekels to help balance the family budget.

Leader Twirls Dials To Conduct Band (Sep, 1939)

Leader Twirls Dials To Conduct Band

INSTEAD of waving a baton, Buddy Wagner, New York dance-band leader, twirls dials and levers on a control panel to mix the tones and adjust the volume of each section of his novel electrified orchestra. Crystal pick-ups are attached to each instrument, and the music produced is amplified and then wired to three loudspeakers set in front of the electric swing band, as seen in the photograph above.

Boom in Bands PUTS AMERICA IN MARCH TIME (Mar, 1935)


TWENTY THOUSAND American communities support school bands which are trained by experts and stimulated by colorful national tournaments. This amazing new movement, transforming the old “town band” into a crack musical organization, is described by Mr. May, who recently told of the similar boom in drum and bugle corps

By Earl Chapin May

FOR three hot hours of a June Saturday, an excited multitude in Drake Stadium, Des Moines, Iowa, watched bands from Massachusetts, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, and Iowa contend for prizes in marching. The spectators cheered like football fans when the marchers joined 5,000 other boys and girls and closed the Eighth Annual National High-School Band Contest by a thrilling rendition of Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever.



From Switzerland comes the Thorens record player that folds away into a 2″ by 5″ by 11″ camera-model carrying case weighing a little over 5 lb. In tone and volume it is said to be comparable to full-sized acoustic phonographs. One winding of the motor is needed for each side of a 10″ or 12″ record. Rexon Inc., of New York, distributes the phonograph in the United States. Under $30.

Phonograph-Movie Machine Plays Tunes for Pictures (Mar, 1922)

Phonograph-Movie Machine Plays Tunes for Pictures

A COMBINATION phonograph, and motion-picture projector that plays appropriate music as the film is being shown has been invented by A. L. Edminson, of Los Angeles, Calif. After eight years of experiment he has combined the two machines into a cabinet slightly larger than that of the standard phonograph. The upper part contains the phonograph; the lower a motion-picture projector.

The films are exhibited on a silk screen, measuring 18 by 22 inches, which is placed behind the doors of the sounding-box. It is claimed that the pictures are projected clearly enough to be seen by an audience 40 feet away.

Silent Violin Makes Its Debut (Jan, 1931)

Silent Violin Makes Its Debut
THE noiseless violin, which can be heard only by the person playing it, is the result of experiments by a German inventor. The instrument should be a boon to student musicians, who may now practice at any time without disturbing the neighbors.