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Violin Vibrophone

Violin Vibrophone


The Vibrophone Manufacturing Company

Brooklyn, New York


The 1910 supplement to the The Century Dictionary defined a vibrophone like this...


vibrophone (vī'brō-fōn), n, [L. vibrare, vibrate, + Gr. φώνη, sound.] A device for inducing movement of the drum-membrane of the ear by means of sound-waves directed into the auditory meatus.


...basically, any device that can revitalize the ears of a deaf person by applying sound directly to the ear canal. We know now, as did medical professionals almost immediately when devices like the Violin Vibrophone originally went to market, that they were nothing more than quack medical instruments.

To use the Violin Vibrophone, the patient was supposed to wear the stethoscope accordingly and sound waves generated by the machine would cure ailments such as tinnitus. The vibrations were adjustable from "slow vibrations" to "fast vibrations" and to "very fine vibrations." It should also replicate a "low buzzing sound" or a "high signing note." The main body of the instrument is an actual violin because, as one cockamamie reviewer put it, "...the power of which as a sounding board can not be equaled." Everything was powered by three Edison cells.

Violin Vibrophone

The Violin Vibrophone was made by The Vibrophone Manufacturing Company of Brooklyn, New York. It sold for $25 on 1894. 

The Violin Vibrophone was almost immediately discredited in several medical journals dated to 1894. There was no substantial evidence of it doing what the maker claimed, just as with all other Vibrophones. I'm much more riveted with this one, however.

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Violin Vibrophone
Violin Vibrophone
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