My own experience with acetate tapes, mainly 1/4" 1-mil mass-duped AudioTape and Scotch types, is
that they don't want a bone-dry environment like is recommended for back-coated tapes. These tapes
can un-curl if exposed to humidity, in my experience. And, tapes that have been stored in a cool,
somewhat humid environment tend to hold up well vs. tapes stored in a hot attic. I have no science
to quantify any of this, just years of experience with hundreds of tapes. If Scotch 111 or
especially Kodak acetate tape gets vinegar syndrome, it shrinks not curls. That is not fixable, as
far as I know.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2011 4:14 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: [ARSCLIST] Treatment for Acetate Tapes
Back in the 30s and 40s, Kodak had a piece of blotter paper behind a
grill in the center of the aluminum cans for 16mm films. I think they
meant for the blotter paper to be kept damp to keep the safety film
hydrated. I never saw anybody do it, however.
Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: [ARSCLIST] Treatment for Acetate Tapes
From: "Don Tait ([log in to unmask])" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, December 09, 2011 3:42 pm
To: [log in to unmask]
I agree with Scott Phillips. I'd like to read everyone's comments about
this on the ARSC site if everyone is willing. Because I have some
tapes from circa 1957 that are dried, curled, and that I want to
I'll tell something that was told to me about a possible rescue method
by Mitchell Heller, who's been an engineer involved in recording since
early 1950s: humidity. Mitchell said the basic problem is that acetate
dries out, and curls as a result. He recommended putting a piece of wet
cloth or paper towel in at least one corner of a tape enclosure, the
corners the better, trying to cover all openings of the enclosure with
like plastic wrap to trap the moisture inside, and letting it sit for a
while. He said that would rehydrate the tape and cause it to flatten
to be played successfully.
Despite my problems with a few acetate tapes I've never had the energy
to try it, so I don't know whether it works. Others probably will. In
case, that's my contribution. I hope to read others' thoughts about the
Don Tait It would be a shame if it wasn't on list, this is important.
Richard Hess has some information, I believe he has played this tape
On Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 5:48 PM, Simon Kunz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I would like to use camphor on a brittle acetate tape to smoothen it and
> make it playable. I have recently read of this procedure for film and I
> wondered if it would work in magnetic tapes as well.
> Does anyone have some experiences with this kind of treatment? Are there
> any published articles concerning this topic? (whether applied to film as
> to magnetic tape)
> The tape I would like to treat is a Magnethophon Typ C from 1943.
> Every hint is appreciated! If you prefer you may contact me off-list.
> Simon Kunz