Eden, New York: Home of the Kazoo

The soundtrack to paradise is the gentle humming of kazoos.

Few of you may know, but the editors of York Staters are somewhat musical. Jesse can play a mean reel on the fiddle, and I can (kind of) play the ukulele. This afternoon I was doing a little searching on the internet for a place to find a good kazoo, because what instument would be a more perfect compliment to the ukulele than the kazoo?

It turns out that if you live in New York State you needn't look far for the finest in kazoos. Eden, New York, a town whose name evokes a paradise, is home to the only metal kazoo factory in the world. The Original American Kazoo Company factory was built in 1916, and still uses the same machines and processes to make kazoos today. It is also a museum, which exhibits the history of kazoos and kazoo trivia as well as the manufacturing operation. The company website makes the excellent point that "the kazoo is the most democratic of instuments because anyone can play."

The website offers information on the products they sell, showcasing the classic metal kazoo. Or if you're up for something a bit more elaborate, there's also the trombone kazoo, the trumpet kazoo, or the French horn kazoo. You can't order online, but you can call "the kazoo hotline" (which I plan on doing if only to be able to say that I called something called the kazoo hotline.) A metal kazoo is only $1.99, so if you're feeling musical, pick up that phone and call Eden for you slice of democracy.

Posted by Natalie

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