Of all my inventions, I liked the phonograph the best.» — Thomas Edison
While we prefer the incandescent lightbulb, we’re willing to call the phonograph a close second. And with this kit from Gakken, you can now feel like Edison himself by building your own miniature phonograph! This phonograph can record and play about fifty seconds of sound onto a wax candle — mimicking the original wax cylinder used.
This build-it-yourself phonograph works by capturing sound’s vibrations by pressing a needle onto wax candle. The playback does the opposite — the grooves cause the needle to vibrate and when the waves are passed onto a diaphragm, a sound comes out from the phonograph’s horn.
The kit takes about an hour to assemble and is perfect for both kids and adults. It requires no special tools except scissors, cellophane tape, and two AA batteries that aren’t included. Candles, however, are included!
There’s no English manual so this kit’s a bit more challenging than the other Gakken kits. The pictures, however, are fairly simple to follow and the kit should only take a couple of hours to build. The Japanese Manual (with pictures) is available for download here.
Gakken is a Japanese publishing company founded in 1946. In the 1970s, they began selling educational toys, books, magazines, and electronic kits. Their kits are known for their smart design and relative ease of use and have a large cult following both in Japan and the United States.