At 11:37 AM 10/6/2005, dave n wrote:
>Hello all -
>I'm looking for information about how anyone here on the arsc-list 
>has handled and transferred old acetate tapes that have begun to curl?

Hello, Dave,

Friedrich Engel, the retired BASF historian, gave me a present in a 
phone conversation (yes, to Germany, his English was far better than 
my German). You can re-hydrate acetate tapes.

The procedure I used, based on discussions with Engel, was to place 
the tape in a 100% humidity atmosphere for about 24 hours.

The subject in question was a 1935 Carbonyl Iron tape from the Jack 
Mullin collection. Too bad, there were only a few tones on it, but it played.

When I first got it, it behaved much like a carpenter's steel tape 
measure and you could hold a foot or more of it extended. After the 
treatment, it felt like a satin ribbon.

I placed the tape in an open container inside a sealed container. The 
sealed container had about an inch of water in the bottom. The tape 
was up on spacers in the open container. This was room temperature.

I tried this again with a tape that spent several years behind a 
woodstove and it did soften it a bit, but the tape was too blocked 
(adhered layer to layer by edge melting) and too fragile to play 
either before or after this treatment, although the fragile pieces 
were much softer even after this extreme.

I would suggest trying this with one reel that is not as important to 
get the "feel" of the process.

If it works, thank Herr Engel, if it doesn't please let us know here 
and let us know your experiences.

I would think this is safer than trying to force the tape into 
contact by either tension or pressure pad.

I make no warranties as to the long-term effects of this treatment.



Richard L. Hess                              [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada   
Detailed contact information: