Ohio Recorders

by Matthew Laube
(Williamsburg Ohio )

Ohio has a historic place in the progress of Tape recording in the US. Cleveland is the home of Brush Development Corporation who brought to market in 1946 the first consumer machine, the BK 401. Brush was also the employer of S.J. Begun, who developed recording technology in pre-war Germany while working at Lorenz.

Moving west to Toledo we find the Cousino Audio vendor-one of the first successful "endless" tape loop or repeating message cartridges- the grandfather of the Echoplex and Mellotron.

South to Columbus we find Bell Sound who marketed the large format (RCA)1/4 inch tape cartridge-"Bell-O-Matic". Bell was also the home of one the first popular priced three motor transports- the RT/T series. This was sold under such diverse names as Allied and Raytheon. This was the same machine that could add 10.5 reels and become a duplicator.

Finally, my home of Cincinnati-home of Intercom giant NuTone who coupled a VM transport with in house electronics to produce the model 2406 as an add on to a home intercom system. A low production Mellotone Model PTR-1 serial number 355 by Raytronics complets the tour.

Ironically, Cincinnati was the home of radio giant Crosley who as far as I can tell never produced a tape recorder. Maybe a prototype is lurking in someones basement!

Matthew Laube

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