Illustration of Benjamin Franklin's Glass armonica, circa 1776.

Illustration of the armonica
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In the early 1760s Benjamin Franklin began to tinker the musical glasses, fitting thirty-seven glass bowls on a horizontal spindle turned by a foot pedal and played with wet fingers. Franklin's glass armonica soon became a sensation in Europe. Queen Marie Antoinette took lessons on it, and both Mozart and Beethoven composed music for an instrument.