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A very curious piece of mechanism is being exhibited at Paris by its maker, M. Faber, who has produced a speaking machine which imitates the human oice. It consists of three parts—the wind producing part, the part which converts the wind into sound, and the part which articulates. The first is simply a bellows, the second is an ivory tube imitating the larynx, and causing, by variations in length, differences of tone. The articulating systern has two parts—one for the vowels, the other for consonants. The former are made by the passage of air through openings of different shapes made in diaphragms placed successively in the current of air by the action of levers made by the fingers. A special cavity, destined to produce nasal sounds, can be put in communication with the former at pleasure, by means of a particular lever. The consonants are produced by pieces, the action of which is analogous to that of the lips, teeth, and tongue. The rolling of the Ris caused by a wheel. All these imitation organs •ere put in motion by fourteen keys very ingeniously disposed to produce the necessary sounds with varying intensity of action and change of sequence of the parts destined to produce a syllable. Fourteen keys suffice to this end, for by variations of touch the intended sound can be made weak or strong at pleasure. As might be expected, the utterance of the machine is very monotonous, and some sounds are much less like nature than others ; but most of the words spoken are easily understood. They cannot, however, be compared with the inflexions of the human voice ; and even if the imitation of the latter, which machinists have been hammering at for a century past, could be made ever so perfect, it is difficult to see what would be the use of such an imitation.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 87, 15 April 1880

Word Count

IMITATION OF THE HUMAN VOICE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 87, 15 April 1880