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Webster Chicago Electronic Memory Recorder

Object Details

mid 20th Century
metal, plastic
8 3/4 × 10 1/2 × 12 in. (22.2 × 26.7 × 30.5 cm)
Dr. Lorenzo Dow Turner used this recorder for his research on languages in Africa in 1951. The Webster Chicago Electronic Memory Wire Recorder appeared in the late 1940s and significantly improved on earlier recorders. It could record for up to 60 minutes without interruption. Although heavy, it was portable, and cost half the price of older recorders. It used stainless steel wires that had been put to regular use by the United States military in World War II. The wires could be erased and re-used, which made this equipment more economical, though on occasion, the wires tangled in the winding process.
The Webster Company was based in Chicago, and its products were of high quality. Nevertheless, the company did not keep up with the fast pace of change in recording technology in the 1950s and 1960s. They were purchased by another company, and its brand name, WebCor, disappeared in the 1960s.
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
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