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©Copyright 2011-2015 Eric Wrobbel



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Vintage collectible tape recorders, from left to right, Executive TR-10, Kaytone, turquoise Miny. All three use 3-inch tape reels and are made in Japan. From 'Pocket and Portable Tape Recorders' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/pocket-recorders.htm
Vintage tape recorder: The impressive and strange American-made Mohawk Midgetape 44 (model BR-1). It's dated 1957 and uses a metal tape cartridge. The electronics inside include three subminiature tubes. The built-in hand crank is for manual rewind. From 'Pocket and Portable Tape Recorders' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/pocket-recorders.htm Three tiny vintage tape recorders: Craig TR-404 (Japan), a Sanyo-made recorder using 2.5-inch reels. Next is the all-chrome (wow!) Juliette LT-44 (Japan), using 3 inch reels, and at right the Fi-Cord 101S, a nifty little 'spy' recorder using 2-inch reels. It has a built-in microphone and was made in Switzerland. From 'Pocket and Portable Tape Recorders' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/pocket-recorders.htm Vintage Olympus Pearlcorders pocket-size tape recorders: the larger one is an early SD model and the small one an L400 from the 1980s. Both are from Japan and use microcassettes. Shown behind is a nifty accessory, the DRA 2 FM tuner which docks to the bottom of the SD, making it an FM radio. What will they think of next? From 'Pocket and Portable Tape Recorders' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/pocket-recorders.htm Vintage Telefunken 600 'Portable Dictating Machine' uses 'magnetic recording discs' and is, for office equipment, exceptionally beautiful. It was made in Germany, probably in the 1960s. From 'Pocket and Portable Tape Recorders' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/pocket-recorders.htm Vintage spy tape recorder, the Tapette, which takes extra-tiny 1.75-inch reels (Japan, mid-'60s). It measures just 8 inches by 2.65 inches. From 'Pocket and Portable Tape Recorders' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/pocket-recorders.htm Vintage SPY MICROPHONE disguised as a wristwatch. It's the perfect accessory to any collection of spy recorders. Long-sleeve shirt required! 'Let me just check the time; then you can tell me all about the secret rocket plans.' This particular microphone watch acquired with a Minifon P55 wire recorder. From 'Pocket and Portable Tape Recorders' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/pocket-recorders.htm

In their day, little tape recorders were fascinating. Remember, in that time most of us had never heard our own voice played back. (“I sound like that?!”) Beside the novel technology, many of these little recorders were very attractively designed, as you can plainly see! Since people have little use for these gizmos today, they’re much easier to find and collect than, say, Van Goghs.

The three good-lookers at the top are, from left to right, an Executive TR-10, a Kaytone, and a turquoise Miny. All three use 3" tape reels and are from Japan.

To the left is the impressive and strange American-made Mohawk Midgetape 44 (model BR-1). It’s dated 1957 and uses a metal tape cartridge. The electronics inside include three subminiature tubes. The built-in hand crank is for manual rewind. 

Above is the Craig TR-404 (Japan), a Sanyo-made recorder using 2.5-inch reels. Next is the all-chrome (wow!) Juliette LT-44 (Japan), using 3 inch reels, and at right the Fi-Cord 101S, a nifty little “spy” recorder using 2-inch reels. It has a built-in microphone and was made in Switzerland.

While I say I collect “tape recorders,” the medium (the tape) is not the point exactly. Wire recorders are equally fascinating, and for its stunning good looks the green Telefunken 600 “Portable Dictating Machine” (below), which uses “magnetic recording discs” is in my collection, although it’s basically office equipment. It was made in Germany, probably in the 1960s.

Above are a couple of pocket-size Olympus Pearlcorders, the larger one an early SD model and the small one an L400 from the 1980s. Both are from Japan and use microcassettes. Shown behind is a nifty accessory, the DRA 2 FM tuner which docks to the bottom of the SD, making it an FM radio. Cool!

The really small Tapette, below, takes extra-tiny 1.75-inch reels (Japan, mid-’60s). With push-button controls on the end, it measures just 8 by 2.65 inches.

And here to the left is the perfect accessory in any collection of spy recorders, the external microphone disguised as a wristwatch. I acquired this one with a Minifon P55 wire recorder. Long-sleeve shirt required!