VODER: A Speech Synthesizer from 1939 #MusicMonday

This video from VintageCG shows the workings of the VODER, a speech synthesizer demonstrated at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Here’s more on the VODER from What Is the Voder:

An operator would select one of two basic sounds by using the wrist bar: a buzz tone and a hissing sound. The buzz tone was the building block for vowel sounds and nasal type sounds. The hissing sound was the building block for those sounds associated with consonants.

These sounds were then passed through a bank of filters that were selected by the user by selecting the appropriate keys on the keyboard. These sounds were combined and sent through a loudspeaker. For sounds not replicable by the buzzing or hissing noises, such as “p”, “d”, “j”, and “ch”, additional filters were selectable

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