Magnetic Belt Recorder

Description (Brief)
Recording machines designed for dictation have used many different formats over the years. This “Time-master” unit made by Dictaphone Corporation used a 3.5-inch wide belt coated with a magnetizable material. Sold as “Dictabelt Records” in a pack of 10, these belts were stronger than regular, thin plastic recording tape.
This machine was used in the office of historian Daniel J. Boorstin when he served as director of the National Museum of History and Technology. The unit includes a loudspeaker, two different types of foot-pedal controls, and a “Twin Ear” head set.
Currently not on view
Object Name
recording device
dictating machine
date made
ca 1955
Dictaphone Corporation
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
vinyl (overall material)
dictaphone: 11.4 cm x 33 cm x 26.7 cm; 4 1/2 in x 13 in x 10 1/2 in
speaker: 11.4 cm x 14 cm x 18.4 cm; 4 1/2 in x 5 1/2 in x 7 1/4 in
pedal control 1: 5.8 cm x 18.4 cm x 17.8 cm; 2 5/16 in x 7 1/4 in x 7 in
pedal control 2: 4.1 cm x 15.25 cm x 15.25 cm; 1 5/8 in x 6 in x 6 in
pedal control 3: 4.1 cm x 15.25 cm x 15.25 cm; 1 5/8 in x 6 in x 6 in
headset: 19 cm x 15.25 cm x 2.5 cm; 7 1/2 in x 6 in x in
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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 the Smithsonian Institution
Additional Media

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