Go to the Home Page of Historical Folk Toys Catalog Continuation Page See Our Best Sellers

.

Catalog Navigation Legend

.
Page One
Kazoo
Jew's Harp (Jaw Harp)
Bamboo Flute
Little Bamboo Flute
Page Two
Harmonica in C
Plastic Recorder in C
Ocarina in C
Plastic Fife in C
.

 

.
Page Three
Brass Fife in B Flat
Penny Whistle in D
Lithographed Field Drum
Americana Field Drum
Page Four
Claves
Box Shaker
One-Octave Xylophone
Finger Cymbals
.

 

.
Other Sections
Early Education
Classic Toys & Puzzles
Traditional Games
Home Crafts
Historical Doll Kits
Native American
Historical Books
Music Books
Index of Catalog Listings
.

Kazoo

.

Continued from product description on Folk Instruments' Page One...

Historical Background: The kazoo is a simple musical instrument (membranophone) that produces tonal qualities when a player hums into it. The kazoo is also a type of vibrating membrane instrument known as "mirlitons." The kazoo dates back hundreds of years to its oldest known relative, the horn-mirliton, an African version of the mirliton. Horn-mirlitons' tubes were made from cow horns, and the eggshells of spiders were used for the membranes. African horn-mirlitons were often used at tribal gatherings to distort or mask voices.

The first European mirlitons were created in the 17th century and were called "eunuk flutes." During the 1800s, various forms of kazoos could be found throughout North America. And even though these instruments varied in construction, they were all similar to the kazoo. These early American mirlitons were based on the African version and primarily used for folk music.

By the mid-18th century, the kazoo began to become popular and make its mark on music history. The first kazoo as we know it today came as an idea in the 1840s to Alabama Vest of Macon, Georgia, and was made with the help of a German clock manufacturer, Thaddeus von Glegg. The kazoos they made were soon adopted by musicians in Jazz, Jug, and Hillbilly bands.

A traveling salesman by the name of Emil Sorg chanced upon Vests and von Glegg's kazoo. Sorg was so impressed with the market potential for this instrument, he went to New York to produce his own kazoos. Sorg eventually partnered with a Buffalo tool and die maker by the name of Michael McIntyre. The first production run of kazoos occurred in 1912.

A year later, McIntyre had obtained the knowledge necessary to manage kazoo production by himself. What he lacked was a larger factory. To solve this problem, McIntyre partnered with Harry Richardson, the owner of a large metal factory in Eden, New York, and they began mass producing kazoos in 1914. Soon, sales of kazoos increased as their popularity grew. These two men renamed their partnership in 1916 and called it The Original American Kazoo Company.

As the popularity and sales of kazoos continued to grow in the 1920s and 1930s, so did the competition. Others thought making and selling kazoos was a smart idea. To stave off this competition, McIntyre applied for and was granted a U.S. patent in 1923. The Original American Kazoo Company continued to produce kazoos the same way they did in 1916 until the factory closed in 2003. The company also maintains a working museum housed in the original factory that tells the history of kazoos, provides amusing trivia, and demonstrates the manufacturing process.

Our metal kazoos (5001) are made according to the historical specifications established by The Original American Kazoo Company in 1916.

Fun Fact: The Kazoo was exhibited at the 1852 Georgia State Fair and was later manufactured under the name "Down South Submarine" because of its shape.

Fun Fact: Although the origin of the kazoo is African, it has since become as American as apple pie and considered by some to be the "most democratic musical instrument" since anyone who can hum a tune can also play a kazoo!

Fun Fact: König Ludwig von Bayern had a 2.13-meter-long mirliton made for an opera by Wagner. This instrument was constructed with extremely "fat" eunuks that were imported from the Ottoman kingdom.

Fun Fact: You can "make" a kazoo by wrapping a tissue paper or piece of wax paper around a hair comb. Try it if you have not already!

Would you like to return to the previous page or go to the next product description?

The above info is copyrighted by Historical Folk Toys, LLC and has been properly registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
All rights reserved. Any reprint or reuse -- in any form or by any means -- is strictly prohibited without our written permission.
.

Kazoo
Kazoo
Item Number 5001

Return to Previous Page

.
Would you like to return to the previous page or go to the next product description?
.

Go to the Next Product Description

Site Navigation Legend

.
Product Catalog
Early Education ~ Classic Toys & Puzzles ~ Traditional Games ~ Home Crafts
Historical Doll Kits ~ Folk Instruments ~ Native American ~ Historical Books
Music Books ~ Index of Catalog Listings ~ Alphabetical & Numerical Listings
Products by Periods Guide ~ Origins of Our Products

General Information
New Products ~ Our Best Sellers ~ About the Elves ~ Our Scrapbook
Affiliations ~ Wholesale Terms ~ Catalog Request ~ Green Policies
.

Go to Top of Page
Go to Site Map

.

Go to the Home Page of Historical Folk Toys Wholesale Only
Read about the Elves at Historical Folk Toys
Address Symbol
10100 Park Cedar Drive, Suite 134 City and State Symbol Charlotte, NC 28210 USA
Phone Symbol
(800) 871-1984 Fax Symbol (800) 871-1899 E-mail Symbol info at historicalfolktoys.com
Call (704) 543-0204 or fax to (704) 543-0205 if dialing locally or from outside the USA.
Home Page Symbol Home Page Privacy Policy Symbol Privacy Policy Wholesale Conditions Symbol Contact Information Legal Notices Symbol Legal Notices Site Map Symbol Site Map
Web Site Content: Copyright © 2004-present by Historical Folk Toys, LLC et al. Web
Site Design: Copyright © 1996-present by Beeline Publications. All rights reserved.
See Our Best Sellers

Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. No part of this Web site may be published, stored or transmitted -- in any form or by any means
-- without written permission from Julie at Historical Folk Toys, LLC. Copyright violation may result in costly fines for you or your
organization. Getting permission is easy. Getting out of legal trouble is not! Please take a few minutes to read about copyrights &
how they apply to you and the material you find on the Internet: U.S. Copyright Office and "10 Copyright Myths Explained."