The first commercially available synthesizer was designed by the Hammond Organ Company in 1938 and put into full production from 1938 to 1942. The Novachord is a gargantuan, all tube, 72 note polyphonic synthesizer with oscillators, filters, VCAs, envelope generators and even frequency dividers.
If you are skeptical about the Novachord being a true synthesizer, check out the sound clips near the bottom of the page.
I bought my Hammond Novachord around 10/2004 in Connecticut. After chatting with the few brave souls who tried to repair these beasts, I soon realized that replacement of all the passive components was necessary for reliable and stable operation of any Novachord. However, the sheer number of components and it's complexity, make properly restoring a Novachord
Please don't let this site lead you to believe that restoring one of these 500 pound monstrosities is anything close to easy. You will need tons of: time, resistors, capacitors, muscle, money, test equipment, patience, family members with patience, etc.