What’s 105 Years Old and Exactly the Same?

The Kazoo!

No need to improve upon perfection. It’s made the exact same way it always has been. And what is that process? No screws, welds, or glue–just metal crimping. Today, mentally disabled staff produce kazoos at the Original American Kazoo Company in Eden NY; it’s part of a skills-development program.

Making Kazoos

Playing the Kazoo

You hum, not blow. I was not aware of this.

Nor was I able to do it. And after trying several kazoos in case they were faulty, I quit out of embarrassment. And hygiene.

Kazoos are also used to aid in teaching deaf students. And not surprisingly, the largest consumer is seniors.


Records and Distinctions

  • There are 15,000 kazoo bands in America. Is that a good thing?
  • In 1986, 54,500 people set a record for the most people playing the kazoo at one time. I wonder if there were fewer people who tried before, or if they simply amassed that many this time. To think of people being foiled for a kazoo gathering is woeful.
  • The Smithsonian Museum calls the Kazoo the only original American instrument. Shazzam.


What instrument(s) can you play?
What’s the most fun you’ve had while playing an instrument?

One Response


Your Comments
FANTASTIC post. So interesting. Never knew I’d actually care about such an instrument (fair to call it an “instrument”). As always, you bring such color and meaning to things we all take for granted or never knew to care about. Keep ’em coming!

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