There are objects similar to kazoo for hundreds of years in Africa. They were used to disguise a person's voice or to imitate animals (see calls), mainly in ceremonies.
The official invention of the kazoo is attributed to the African-American Alabama Vest, in the nineteenth century, in Georgia.
The first kazoo was made by Thaddeus von Clegg, a German watchmaker in the city of Macon. The production of kazoos began in 1852, in the Georgia State Fair.
The most common kazoo is metal (made in New York State). However, one can also handcraft and easily make his own kazoo, for example with wax paper and a comb.
An improved kazoo called zobo was invented in 1895 by Warren Herbert Frost in the United States.
It was very popular for several decades before being forgotten.
In the same country existed three similar instruments: the songophone, the sonophone and the vocophone3. These instruments are the American equivalents of the French bigophone.