Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorder

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Description (Brief)
This model BK-416 “Soundmirror” is a modified version of Brush’s model BK-401. Like the earlier unit, the BK-416 used a paper tape coated with a magnetizable material in a reel-to-reel configuration. The retail price in 1953 was about $280, nearly $2300 in 2012 dollars. Working in parallel with Bell Laboratories and the Armour Research Foundation, Brush Development Company spearheaded American research efforts in magnetic recording prior to World War II. Building on the research of Semi Begun, the company made military wire recorders during the war and introduced consumer products like this Soundmirror after the war ended.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1948
Brush Development Company
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
glass (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 10 in x 15 in x 18 in; 25.4 cm x 38.1 cm x 45.72 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
from Ruth W. Begun, in memory of Semi J. Begun
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Magnetic Recording
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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