Here is an interesting bit of history sent in via MATRIXSYNTH reader, monsta poly, Charlie Douglass’ “Laff Box” from 1953. It’s the original device used to create laugh tracks used for TV shows. As you can see, it looks a bit like a typewriter mixed with the tape mechanism of the Mellotron. It’s worth noting the Mellotron would not be released until 1954, however, the predecessor of the Melltotron, The Chamberlain was produced from 1949 to 1956, which means the “Laff Box” wasn’t quite the first instrument to employ the technique. Regardless, it is a fascinating piece of gear and technology from roughly the same time period.
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The circuit board on the top doesn’t look 1953 vintage…