#414: Musicomb

I recently bought some miniature barrel organs for my children which each consist of a hand cranked drum with protrusions which hit the tangs of a multiprong tuning fork as they pass. These toys cost about £2 each and still give a recognisable rendition of various ‘classic’ tunes.

Today’s invention is a novelty consisting of a metal comb which, when rubbed from one end to the other, plays a tune in a similar way. Each tooth of the comb would act as a tuning fork because, although all lengths would be equal, they would have different thicknesses. Some teeth might have to be removed, of course, in order to provide the right musical timing.


Combs might be supplied which mimicked the ringtones of people’s cellphones and which allowed individuals to introduce themselves to each other by saying effectively ‘Can I talk to you?’

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