from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A musical instrument made of blown-glass bowls mounted on a spindle turned originally by a foot pedal, and played with wetted fingers, producing an ethereal sound. Technically, it is a crystallophone. It has enjoyed a modern revival.
Coined by Benjamin Franklin, its inventor; built on Italian armonia ("harmony"). Glass harmonica is a corruption of Franklin's original word, a backformation influenced by harmonica (a reed instrument invented sixty years later). (Wiktionary)