Friday, March 24, 2006


Nooo, not an elder god.

"When, at the age of 11, I was a member of the Blackstone Military band ... {I was a} virtuoso on what was called a "zobo" - a brass horn with a membrane on one end, which would transform humming to a delightfully brass impressiveness!"

[12/13/1930 to August Derleth in Lord of a Visible World, Joshi, 2000]

Even in the day no one had a clue what Lovecraft was talking about. Obviously it sounds much like a "kazoo", but Chrispy has found a few more clues with diligent research.

"Images from The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection: "Harmonophone" Harmonica with Funnel-Shaped, Zobo Resonator, NMM 8396. "Harmonophone" harmonica with funnel-shaped resonator, Clover brand, Klingenthal, ca. 1900. Attached to the narrow end of the funnel-shaped resonating chamber is a cup-shaped "Zobo" mouthpiece containing a thin, vibrating membrane that is capable of producing a sound like a kazoo. Alan G. Bates Collection, 2000. "

And, this Sears c. 1900 advertisment (Lovecraft would have turned 11 on Augist 20, 1901)

A typical, early 20th century military band:

1 comment:

Fran Friel said...

A Zobo! Wow, Chris, this is an amazing piece of info. Very, very cool!

I have some friends, The Chestnut Brass Company, that specialize in old brass instruments. I'll have to check and see if they have a Zobo. This is just too amazing.




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