Check out this footage of a very early synthesizer being hauled from a barn in France, where it was discovered by Dr. Mick Grierson, a professor at Goldsmiths University in London, to England, where it will stay until the end of 2012.
According to the article on Engadget.com, Daphne Oram built what's being called the Oramics Synthesiser in 1957. To actually get the thing to produce sounds, a person would have to paint waveforms onto 35mm film strips and feed them into the massive machine, where photo-electronic cells would turn the pattern into amplitude and frequency control voltages. Wild.
Visit the Daphne Oram website for more info.