Cartridge Wire Recorder

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Description (Brief)
This model MI-12525 RCA wire recorder shows one answer to a major problem of using steel wire to record sound. The recording wire is wound into a cartridge. The user simply inserts the cartridge into the recorder and can quickly begin using the machine. This machine was designed for use in office dictation around 1948.
Early magnetic recorders used steel wire or steel bands as a recording medium instead of plastic tape. Steel wire was fragile and tangled easily. Threading a recording machine took a certain amount of finesse and the wire could easily break if mishandled.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1948
Radio Corporation of America
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (internal mechanism material)
glass (internal mechanism material)
overall: 28 cm x 35.5 cm x 30.5 cm; 11 in x 14 in x 12 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
from Marianthe Karaberi
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Magnetic Recording
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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