Combined coat hanger and musical instrument

I wonder if Louis Jacobs thought he was going to strike it rich when he came up with his idea for a "combined hanger and musical instrument." From his 1918 patent:

Be it known that I, Louis Jacobs, a citizen of the United States, residing at San Francisco, in the county of San Francisco and State of California, have invented new and useful Improvements in Combined Hangers and Musical Instruments, of which the following is a specification.

The object of the present invention is to provide a device for hanging shoes and other articles, and which can also be used as a musical instrument.

But how did it work as a musical instrument? Again from his patent:

The device may also be used in the following manner as a musical instrument: Thin pieces of paper are placed on opposite sides of the wire screen frame, and the frame, after the paper has been thus placed, is brought up to the mouth and the performer sings, speaks, or hums through the paper. The sound of the voice is first split up through the fine pores in the paper, striking the front side of the wire screen and causing vibrations therein, then passing through the holes to the rear side of the wire screen, again causing vibrations therein, so that the sound of the voice is magnified. Any tone, or tune, or the sound of any instrument or the phonograph can be imitated thereby. The effect of these vibrations on the nerves is soothing and quieting. It is also useful in talking to deaf persons, as the sound can be heard by them much better than the ordinary voice.

I can just imagine Jacobs talking to deaf people through his musical coat hanger.
     Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 17, 2022
     Category: Music | Patents | 1910s

It probably wasn't intentionally designed for this, but today we have combination treadmill/clothes hangers, and many of them also can play music. Some are even used for exercising.
Posted by Fritz on 09/17/22 at 06:32 AM
So, essentially the old tissue paper on a comb device? Like a kazoo? How ingenious!
Posted by Judy on 09/17/22 at 03:36 PM
Yup, and just like a kazoo: "the effect of these vibrations on the nerves is soothing and quieting." Right.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 09/18/22 at 09:07 AM
Well, he gets points for creativity…
Posted by Brian on 09/18/22 at 09:15 PM
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