Was a small person hidden inside?
Did he use a ventriloquist?
Although it may have looked and sounded like a magic trick, no deception was used to create Joseph Faber's Euphonia. The machine he invented in 1845 consisted of the technology that was available in 1845: bellows and air chambers and a woman's fake head with an artificial tongue.
The Euphonia could sing and speak different languages and was exhibited at P. T. Barnum's museums. It never made Mr. Faber rich.
However, the Euphonia may have influenced another inventor. When Melville Bell saw - and heard - the invention, he was impressed. He was the father of Alexander Graham Bell, the man who invented a slightly more enduring technology - the telephone.
The Euphonia - A Marvelous Talking-Machine, Curious History>>