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Posted by STEVE M on

We had an interesting article for restoration this week, it was a Sonovox - who remembers them then?

 Although some of my readers will know what a Sonovox is, many if not all will have heard the product of one but let's start with a little story.

A facially hirsute chap called Gilbert Wright noticed one day while shaving that the sounds from the razor made noise in his throat that he could form into words by moving his mouth so based on this principle, he invented the Sonovox in 1939.  It was the first voice synthesizer. At the height of the Big Band era, the Sonovox added a unique sound with Alvino Ray using it extensively in his big band and Disney using it in loads of films as you can experience below.

For my American readers, who could forget the 1940's Lifebuoy foghorn radio commercials whose foghorn effect was generated by a Sonovox for Lifebuoy soap, produced by Unilever.

 Lifebuoy was one of the most popular soaps in the United States from the early 20's to the late 50's, however, as with many things in life tastes changed and Lifebuoy suffered a steady decline in sales until Lifebuoy was finally pulled from sale in 2006.  

And who cannot fail to be amused by these quaint Lifebuoy advertisements from the mid 1930's extolling the virtues of Lifebuoy in providing health, happiness and marital bliss:-




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