I never would have thought to search at Archive.org for something like this. THANKS! I have many
Audio Devices publications, up into the 60's, of course including that 1952 Audio Record issue
featuring my father's first studio (located in a "chicken coop" out-building on his property in
Rockland County NY but soon thereafter moved to MGM's building on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, now the
Coca-Cola building). But I do not have many of these early issues. So this is now a great new pile
of reading material!
Audio Devices also published some "how to make decent magnetic recordings" books. CJ Lebel was a
real apostle of magnetic recording, and also an early writer of scientific articles on the
technology. He was also the first president of the AES. See:
The AudioTape tape recorder market summaries were published into the early 60's. I have scanned some
of them and will make them available to Archive.org so they can include them in that section.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "George Brock-Nannestad" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 7:56 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] archaic pricing sought for early recording tape and machines, circa 1948 -
1949 IN THE U.S.A.
> From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
> Art "Shiffy" Shifrin asked about pricing of equipment and tape for an
> imaginary and possibly government-funded re-recording project from 1949. At
> least that is how I read his post.
> Suggestions were that Radio Shack, Lafayette Radio and ordinary
> advertisements in the NY Times might give the answer. I would not expect a
> professional re-recording project to rely on Radio Shack or any amateur
> market component provider.
> I did not have time to respond earlier, but there is a much more relevant
> resource from the professional market.
> Audio Devices, Inc. was a licensee of Pyral technology from 1938, but created
> a very strong in-house research team, developing not only Audiodisc,
> Audiopoints (stylii) and Audiotape products, but also played a major role in
> the huge upheaval from 78 rpm to 33 1/3 and 45 as well as early tape
> development and recording.
> They issued a trade publication, Audio Record, from July 1945, and it is
> available with a few regrettable "holes" until November-December 1952 from
> the Internet Archive. It has had 1119 downloads since 2009, when it was made
> available, but apparently nobody I know who is engaged in the history of
> audio technology knows about it; this is very apparent from some of the balmy
> answers that have been given on the various lists that I consult regularly.
> On the other hand, I have no real idea what "download" means in the
> terminology of the Internet Archive. Diffusion takes time.
> In the present context, there are magnificient listings of very early tape
> recording equipment with prices and thumbnail descriptions. And of tapes,
> spools and lengths. There is a 1950 listing, but the most relevant to Shiffy,
> 1949, is in one of the missing issues. However, the offering of tape
> recorders about 1950 was huge, and the price range enormous.
> C.J LeBel (now vice president) in 1947 took over a series of regularly
> featured articles, and they are among the most level-headed I have read. A
> report of a presentation in 1946 by Isabel Capps at Frank L. Capps, Inc. is a
> delight. A lot of lacquer mumbo-jumbo and guesswork will become impossible if
> this publication is studied.
> Recording studios are described; a lot of focus is given on educational
> institutions and their use of sound recordings, and for readers of this list
> a special report from 1952 will be of particular interest. It is on Fine
> Sound, Inc. and the innovation they brought to disc recording in cooperation
> with Fairchild. A lot of things were going on that are virtually forgotten by
> most. Enjoy!
> The link that I have is:
> The quality is the usual mass-scanning offered online, but it is definitely
> better than Billboard or the Texan catalog website, which is virtually
> unreadable, even when applying "sharpen more" to the images. I have already
> mentioned that long runs of the JSMPE are also available from the Internet
> Archive. This early stuff is essential, and will undoubtedly save a lot of
> travel grant money for future research.
> Kind regards,
>> Hi Shiffy:
>> With the NY Times, your best bet is go to the library and use microfilm. Ads
>> are indexed in the
>> scanned versions pre-1981 that are available thru library-gateway searches,
>> so you might have luck
>> with that. I don't know how NYC library works with that kind of thing.
>> Beyond Harvey Radio, I don't know who else but remember back then Radio Row
>> was in full swing and
>> Canal Street was still a place you could find electronic parts (as opposed
>> to knockoff designer
>> handbag junk sold there today). So there weren't as many major stores and I
>> don't know if there were
>> any electronics chains beyond Lafayette Radio -- and that might not have
>> been in existence back in
>> 1948-49. Radio Shack, I think, was not yet in existence, although I might be
>> Another idea -- go to the NYPL branch with old technical journals and see if
>> they have old Radio &
>> TV News and Audio Engineering magazines from that era.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Art Shifrin" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2010 1:49 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] archaic pricing sought for early recording tape and
>> machines, circa 1948 -
>> 1949 IN THE U.S.A.
>> > Hi tom,
>> > Thanks for replying quickly. FYI I did check the fabulous relatively
>> > on-line Popular Science archive & found some references including ads,
>> > none contained prices. There were fewer items than I arbitrarily
>> > A problem with that daabase is that you have to second guess probable
>> > words (as compared to conceptual or thematic). But it's fascinating to
>> > & find articles about other topics.
>> > Do you happen to know if the NY Times' index includes advertisements?
>> > The suggestion about Harvey Radio's catalogs is astute, I'll pursue
>> > or not others supply actual data.
>> > Can you think of other prominent dealers at that time? I've also written
>> > 3M & The science museum in Schenctady (whch has the G.E. archives. Given
>> > cutbacks that are so widespread, I'll be delighted if I get something
>> > thanp[erfunctory replies.
>> > Best Regards,
>> > Shiffy