Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Ben Franklin's Glass Harmonica?

Glass harmonica

Sean at Alesis was nice enough to pass along this interesting Craigslist ad:

"This is an ornate, artistic, beautifully made instrument with many names. Glass Harmonica, Case of Musical Glasses, etc., probably made in the mid-19th century in Europe.  Also called by some as a Glasspiel, Verrillon and Verrophone. By history, with no documentation was at one time the property of Benjamin Franklin."

I tend to take everything on Craigslist with a grain of salt, especially since Ben Franklin died in 1790, a half century before this "instrument" was supposedly made. Still, it is a truly neat instrument idea. Bonus marks to the first person who creates a MIDI version!

[Update: Interesting comments on this post - thanks. You can tell that I'm definitely not an Armonica expert. The tray of glasses in the pics doesn't look much like Franklin's spindle-based Armonica at all, although it probably does resemble the trays of "singing glasses" that were quite popular at the time. It's possible he bought a set while travelling in Europe.]


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