Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorex Memorabilia

When I was younger and starting to build up my collection of open reel tapes and players I stumbled upon the number of open reel tapes my mom had recorded when she herself was younger. Most of the tapes are pretty standard looking Scotch stuff and some have pretty neat designs on them but one in particular stands out.

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It's quite an attention grabber with its orange jacket and beautiful space-age fonts. But a peek inside the cover reveals that this isn't just an ordinary reel of tape.

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The inset reads "This tape not for sale. Memorex's business is the manufacture of precision tapes for computer, instrumentation, and video-frequency applications. We do not make audible range tape for home use - except in limited quantities for memorex friends. Next time you think of precision tapes, think of Memorex."

Looking at the history of the company the tape would have to have been made before 1971 when they entered the consumer market. Looking further at the design of the box it looks similar to reels of their videotape from the mid sixties, so that may be a safe guess. The purpose of this tape was probably to be a promotional tool for Memorex. When this tape was manufactured, the average individual use for magnetic tape was home audio use. By giving these out to people who were distributors or to engineers who showed up at events they could use the tape at home, and be reminded of Memorex every time they did. And why wouldn't you keep it around? Your Possession of it signifies that you're a "friend of Memorex."

At least, that's how I could see an ad executive thinking about it.

Regardless, it is at least an interesting piece of Memorex history, if only for the neat picture of their offices and the cool minimalist design. And if the inset is true, this is perhaps a rare find.

Unfortunately I laced this up a long time ago and well, it's a bit past its prime. There was no original content on the tape and trying to record something on it as a silly high-schooler led to less than desirable results. But then again, at this age its more of a collectors item anyway. And more on the topic of 'collectors item,' there are a few more of these stashed away in better condition than this one and presumably never used either.(So I haven't soiled the only one in existence)