JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I think that this may have been one of Punch's responses to Mr. Edison's newly-invented talking phonograph. Given that the machine was now capable of reproducing not only voices but musical sounds as well, perhaps the cartoonist decided to push the idea a step further and introduce the "chrysophone", a device that fit over the face and allowed the user to sing perfectly. So, no need now for recorded music (at least for vocals) when you can produce the music perfectly on your own, regardless of personal ability. It seems a bit "robotic" to me, and I think that in Our Future Robot Overlords' (OFRO) history of robotics that this image could find a place in the archives, mainly because it suggests (even in parody) the adaptability of a human-mechanical biological interface, which in 1878 was pretty early stuff.