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The Laff-box was created by Charles Douglass, a sound engineer for CBS studios in the early 1950's, to enhance the audience response for both RADIO and TELEVISION programs. Early on ,Mr. Douglass saw the need for sound enhancement to make jokes and other lines more affective in recorded productions. He started with taping shows like The Red Skelton Show, and any other laugh tracks he could use. The box seemingly ahead of its time with technology and ingenuity. Is about the size of todays standard dishwasher, with wheels for easy transport and numerous tapes with a keyboard that he used to select certain sounds and laughs. With a foot pedal he could control the length and increase or fade out of the tape recorded laughter. Mr. Douglass's ledger shows this being used on many early TV, comedy, variety and game shows. To name a few; The Red Skelton Show, Father Knows Best, Millionaire, Showtime, My Friend Irma, Life with Father, Pride of the Family, That's My Boy, Earn Your Vacation, Meet the Family, Joan Blondell Show, Kay Milland Show, So This is Hollywood, Eddie Canton Show..and Grammy's and Oscars Shows. This historical media sound box is confirmed and well documented with the hand-drawn sketches of his plans and drawings for his invention ,along with many recordings/tapes from early shows, pictures and even a very neat and precise ledger book listing shows, dates and what was charged for its use, in Mr. Douglass's personal handwriting. This production technology is still in use today. This original machine by Mr. Douglass, along with the tapes, original sketches and documents are for sale. A great item for studio, producers, television memorabilia collectors or museum. Soon to be featured on the PBS TV program, Antiques Roadshow. (SEE The Antiques Roadshow SAN DIEGO SHOW AIR DATES-Jan 31-Feb 2011) May be listing on ebay auction soon. Serious Inqiries please contact for further information.
Interesting find. Is it just me, or is there something a little creepy about it?