Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Nearly-Forgotten Technology

Having just had our wire recording transferred to CD (see yesterday's blog), I became interested in the history and process of wire recording. The video below is a great introduction to this extinct technology.

The concept of recording on wire came into being in 1878. It was a costly endeavor and slow. In 1898 the Telegraphone was developed, with the intent of recording telephone messages when the called party was unavailable -- the first message machine! By the 1930s wire recorders were being used as dictating machines and, during WW II the BBC used them to get messages to the French Underground. United States military also used them during the war, and for several years after the war they were popular items in American homes. With the advent of magnetic tape recording in the early 50s, wire recordings lost their popularity.

Here are a couple of websites that you can explore if you want to know more about wire recording: click here or here.

We used Precision Audio Restoration in Shoreline, WA, for our project.

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