Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorder

Description (Brief)
This portable tape recorder was designed in the late 1950s by noted industrial designer John Vassos (1898-1985). Born in Romania to Greek parents, Vassos came to the US in 1919 and studied design. Famous for his modernist designs, he helped establish the look of radios and televisions after joining RCA in 1933.
Tape recorders were a relatively new product for home use when RCA entered the market. Drawing on experiences with early radio and TV designs, Vassos’ design made this new technology feel accessible for ordinary people. Being portable, the recorder was also designed to withstand rough use.
Currently not on view
Object Name
recording device
tape recorder
date made
ca 1960
Radio Corporation of America
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 18 cm x 24 cm x 32 cm; 7 1/16 in x 9 7/16 in x 12 5/8 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Magnetic Recording
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Magnetic Recording
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from Paul Johnes
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.