Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin Invents the Glass Armonica

Franklin developed a musical instrument that he called the armonica (after the Italian word for harmony). To play the armonica, a musician powered a foot pedal to rotate 36 concentric glass bowls and produced notes by putting wet fingers to the spinning glass. In Austria, the glass armonica provided the music for a royal wedding. Mozart and Beethoven would compose chamber pieces for it.


1m 55s

WETA Passport

Stream tens of thousands of hours of your PBS and local favorites with WETA Passport whenever and wherever you want. Catch up on a single episode or binge-watch full seasons before they air on TV.