Tech Throwback Thursday for February

FinePoint Tech Throwback Thursday

Tech Throwback Thursday for February

It’s Tech Throwback Thursday time! As we work with audiovisual and broadcast tech and are avid technology fans at home, we would like to pay tribute to the inventors and innovators who helped start the industries we are grateful for.

This month, we are highlighting the Magnetophon!

This month, we are highlighting the Magnetophon!

The Magnetophon, developed by the German company AEG in the 1930s, revolutionized audio recording technology. It was the world’s first practical magnetic tape recorder. The invention stemmed from research by Fritz Pfleumer, who developed magnetic tape coated with iron oxide particles for recording sound.

The Magnetophon quickly gained popularity due to its superior sound quality and fidelity compared to existing technologies like phonograph records. During World War II, the Magnetophon found widespread use in broadcasting, propaganda, and espionage due to its ability to produce high-quality recordings.

The Magnetophon was introduced to the United States by John “Jack” Mullin (1913-1999). Mullin was a premier collector of audio and sound-recording devices. When he was a member of the Signal Corps during World War II, he acquired a Magnetophon from a German station that would forever change audio recording in America. He shipped it back to the U.S. in 38 packages, reassembled it, and took it on tour.

After the war, Mullin partnered with Ampex to create the first American magnetic tape recorder based on the Magnetephon. At the time, magnetic tape was unknown to American audiences. The technology spread globally and played a crucial role in modern audio and video recording development.

If you want to hear a Magnetophon and learn more about the story of how Bing Crosby was a major influence on its adoption, please visit the Pavek Museum in St. Louis Park, MN. The museum has an extensive curated collection of antique radios, televisions, and broadcast equipment and offers tours and live demonstrations.