Matching a device that imitates sounds, with the design of the very thing that it sounds like, can be made simple. A carved razor-backed wooden frog, if stroked on its back with a stick, sounds as if it were croaking. A whistle or ocarina shaped like a bird, would also be relatively simple to make.
As early as 1880, a person could speak into a gramophone and have that sound pattern carved into miniature phonographic cylinders. The cylinder would be set into the body of a doll, along with a miniature gramophone to play the recorded sound, and a clockwork crank that would stick out the back of the doll. The doll would then speak in the recorded voice when the crank was turned.
It was Mattel who updated this form of talking dolls, replacing the cylinder and gramophone with a tiny record player, and replacing the crank with a pull-string. With the development of digital sound stored in microchips, activated by a push-button, toy companies began to incorporate those instead, into their talking dolls.
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