From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

Melodie Myers wrote
> My question concerning the tapes is... can you glean specific information from
> an analogue tape that has some age on it, not only an idea of when the tape
> was manufactured, but where it might have been -- I've seen several post on
> mold and other nastiness growing on these tapes on this discussion board. i.e.
> Has someone come across something that is specific to a certain region and
> would only be found with a tape stored in a particular environment? Say in the
> South? I never encountered any of this in my travels with analogue tape, but
> it occurred to me that many of you are not only archivist, but part time
> research scientist and super sleuths.

----- this is really a forensic question and not one likely to be answerable
by a forensic audio specialist. He or she would ask someone else in the
department. Some kinds of dust are certainly distinguishable - the
composition of mineral dust may indicate a more or less extensive stay in a
particular location. The dust in a city is much more filled with carbon
particles (exhaust) than dust in the countryside. Leaded gasoline will give a
different kind of dust that may date the deposit (ban on lead). The location
may have been somewhere in Australia or other places where asbestos of a
particular composition is mined, or it may be a place where there has been a
desert storm; the dust may be radioactive for that matter. The good thing
about dust and dust distribution is that it will not change over time,
whereas a biological trace may change over time. So, the best would have been
if the tape had been played in a dusty atmosphere: particles trapped between
tape layers. Otherwise: if the tape container has been left open for some

I expect royalties if any of the above is found in your work. But then I
expect that all these ideas have been used in C.S.I. anyway.

Kind regards,