Tape Splicer

Description (Brief):

Not all inventions are momentous affairs that change human society. In 1952 audio engineer Joel Tall designed a device to securely hold plastic recording tape so that accurate splices could be made. Unlike modern digital recording techniques, editing tape involved making physical changes to the recording media. If one wanted to move a segment of a recording from one part of the tape to another, the editor cut the tape at the desired point and then placed it in the new location using adhesive strips. An experienced engineer could make such a splice so that only a well-trained ear could detect the transition.

Description (Brief)

Tall’s splicing block features a concave groove running lengthwise along the block. The top edges of the groove canted inward slightly and locked the tape in place. Cross-cut grooves at 90 and 45 degrees to the slot enhanced the accuracy of the cut. Tall received U.S. Patent number 2,599,667 for this invention which was manufactured by Precision Tech, Inc. of New York. This splicing block was used at CBS Studios in New York from 1952 until 1962.

Date Made: 1952

Maker: Tech Laboratories Inc.Tall, Joel

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Electricity, Magnetic Recording, Communications


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: from Joel Tall

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: EM.334864Catalog Number: 334864Accession Number: 312352

Object Name: splicerrecording tape splicer

Physical Description: steel (overall material)Measurements: overall: 1 in x 6 1/2 in x 1/2 in; 2.54 cm x 16.51 cm x 1.27 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-a30c-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1347316

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.