I looked the BS-TT up on the Internet. Evidently, the Talking Train was a big deal in the advertising world back then. It utilized a now ancient sound effects device called a Sonovox.
Sonovox uses small loudspeakers attached to the performer's throat. It was used in a number of songs from the 1940s to the 1960s, and is used to create the voice of Casey Junior the train in Dumbo and The Reluctant Dragon, the instruments in Rusty in Orchestraville and the piano in Sparky's Magic Piano. (Check out the Whizzer the Flying Airplane's song here)
A descendant of the Sonovox is Peter Frampton’s beloved Talk Box (remember the talking guitar in Show me the Way?) The Talk Box takes the audio output of an amplified instrument ( ie, an electric guitar), and transforms it via a sort of electronic effects pedal. The unique part is that the sound generated by the pedal travels through a length of plastic tubing that the musician puts in his or her mouth.
The Talk Box differs from Sonvox in that (from wikipedia) “As notes are generated by the guitar or other instrument, sound moves through the plastic tubing into the musician's mouth, where it is modulated by the movement of the lips as the player silently mouths words. The resulting sound, which is further amplified by a microphone, combines the melodic quality of an instrument with the information of speech: a talking instrument.”
Has anybody made similar speech effects gizmos? If so, please post details on the Makezine blog