Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorder

Description (Brief)
About ten years after the invention of transistors, Steelman Phonograph & Radio Company produced this portable tape recorder that used seven transistors in its circuits. Although heavy by today’s standards, weighing about 6.5 pounds, the “Transitape” recorder demonstrated possibilities of size and weight reduction that using transistors could provide. The Transitape used a reel-to-reel tape design with tapes that could record for sixty-four minutes. Six mercury cell AA batteries operated the amplifier for about 300 hours and another seven batteries operated the motor for 50 hours.
Currently not on view
Object Name
tape recorder
recording device
date made
ca 1960
Steelman Phonograph & Radio Co., Inc.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
leather (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 10 1/2 in x 7 1/4 in x 3 1/4 in; 26.67 cm x 18.415 cm x 8.255 cm
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 Ben Kleinerman

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. Approved 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 your own artifacts or comment on their value, rarity, or collectibility.

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.