The Vocarola iHORN is an interesting hybrid of the earliest kind. It was made in 1922. It was made by Westinghouse. The original sale price was $30.00. Adjusted for inflation, today this would equate to $489.84 with a cumulative inflation rate of 1532.8%.
Frank Conrad of Westinghouse wanted to market a complete set . . . a radio with a speaker. Seeing a friends bulb automobile horn, he fashioned the Vocarola loudspeaker after this automobile horn. Thus, the hydrd nature of the Vocarola is its marked similarity to certain Rubes or Nonpareil automobile bulb horns. While Westinghouse made the Vocarola, it contracted with RCA Victor to market it. RCA was formed in 1919 and its charter required it be mostly American-owned. RCA took over the assets of American Marconi, and was responsible for marketing GE and Westinghouse's radio equipment. It also acquired the patents of United Fruit and Westinghouse, in exchange for ownership stakes.
The Vocarola is a first of its kind iHorn. It is extremely rare because it was never incredibly popular as an in home loudspeaker. Nonetheless, the Vocarola reminds us that the cross pollination of ideas equates to synergy and that collectively we are all greater than merely the sum of our parts.