Magnetic tape recorder

Kurt Stille, Marconi's Wireless Telegraph CompanyCirca 1930

Musée des arts et métiers

Musée des arts et métiers
Paris, France

Valdemar Poulsen pioneered the recording and reproduction of sound on magnetised steel wire, creating his Telegraphone in 1898. Kurt Stille furthered this research, benefitting from the development of amplification systems in the 1920s. Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company took over his patents and produced this steel tape recorder, whose 3,000-metre reels could record half an hour of sound. Although the loud background hiss it generated severely hampered listening quality, it was used by a number of radio stations, notably by France’s National Radio Recording Centre for broadcasting programmes and creating sound archives. Eugène Huguenard, who taught telephonovision at the Conservatoire, used this tape recorder, formerly at the Radiodiffusion Française (RDF), for practical work.

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  • Title: Magnetic tape recorder
  • Creator: Kurt Stille, Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company
  • Date: Circa 1930
  • Date Created: Circa 1930
  • Provenance: Musée des arts et métiers
  • Contributor: Author: Marie-Sophie Corcy. English translation: David Wharry
  • Inventory number: Inv. 20822
  • Credits: © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam/photo Jean Claude Wetzel