Kodak and some of its bargain products seem to use a unique formulation at
this time. I don't think whatever happens to those tapes can be carried
over to the rest of the major brands.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 9:12 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] A tape Vinegar Syndrome experience
> An update on Vinegar Syndrome in audio tapes. More anecdotal evidence that
> helps support the well-known rule of storing film in vented cans.
> I received four reels of Kodak sound recording tape that were recorded in
> 1962 and 1963. All are Triacetate backing. Two are 1.0 mil on 5-inch reels
> and two are 1.5 mil on 7-inch reels.
> All of the reels were very loosely wound. The two 7-inch reels were in
> plastic bags inside their boxes. One of them reeked of vinegar when I
> opened it and when I rewound it. I had to move away from the prep machine
> during initial rewind.
> It did not seem to suffer from any of the loss-of-lubricant we've started
> to see in Sony reel-to-reel tapes and 3M dictation cassettes (among
> The outside of the tape pack could be easily depressed 1/4 to 3/8 of an
> inch, the pack was so loose. I wonder if that much material was lost? The
> tape still played fine and appeared dimensionally stable, but this is as
> far gone as any I have seen judging from the odor.
> I have never seen this before with tapes stored in the more usual
> cardboard boxes without being sealed in a bag. Doug Nishimura of IPI has
> more examples than I, but I am concerned that we're going to start to see
> significant degradation of acetate-based tapes. The risk of this tape is
> growing, IMHO.
> I'm glad these are getting transferred. They are interviews with people
> who were at one of the Shaker communities in the early 1900s.
> Apologies for the cross posting. I'm not looking to get into a major
> discussion about this -- just a heads up for those who are keeping track
> of at-risk media. Probably if we do discuss it, it should be on AMIA-L as
> that is where most of the knowledgeable VS people reside (due to the issue
> surfacing in film archives a bit more than in tape archives). If you are
> interested in the list go to http://www.amianet.org/amial/amial.html
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Vignettes Media web:
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
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