VideoPreservation Website

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Equipment Museum

Museum of Historic Video Equipment

Beginnings of Magnetic Recording - Audio, 1920-30s
Fritz Pfleumer 1928 AEG Paper Tape Recorder ca 1930 AEG Mgnetophone 1935
1928, Dr. Fritz Pfleumer was granted a patent in Germany for the application of magnetic powders to strip of paper or film; from Ritter 1988 ; see Magnetic Recording History Pictures by Steven Schoenherr 2005, specifically <Recording Technology History> on University of San Diego website AEG first used paper tape for sound recording, this image from the early 1930's shows such a device; from an OSU Historical Timeline of Computer graphics. 1935, Allgemeine Elektrizitatsgesellschaft [AEG] in Berlin, developed a magnetophone machine (1930) based on the Pfleumer principle (1928); from Ritter 1988; see Magnetic Recording History Pictures by Steven Schoenherr (2005) University of San Diego.
A source of early audio recoding information, however no online source (URL), only reference to the publication: Ritter, Heinz. An Introduction into Storage Media and Computer Technology. BASF,1988.

The History of Magnetic Tape by Don Rushkin. This entry was found on the <> or the "wayback machine". Look for the section on "Recording Pictures, on videotape -- Wirtzel 1950 B&W video test.

History of Magnetic Recording by Steven Schoenherr -- See Videotape for -- "John Mullin at Bing Crosby Enterprises demonstrated an experimental 12-head VTR at 100 ips in 1951."
2" Video Equipment
BBC Vera

BBC's VERA (Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus) first VTR, 1952, used 2" steel videotape traveling at 200 ips, past static (3 linear track) heads (BBC image) from Terra Media Cronology; see VERA in use (lace it up).

RCA Television Tape Recorder, 1953, first in USA, used experimental 1/2" magnetic tape at high speed past static heads; image from Barry Mishkind at

Ampex VR-1000-A, 1956, actual first Ampex VTR using 2" wide plastic magnetic tape at 15 ips moving past vertically rotating Quad heads (BBC Who Univ. image).
RCA TV Equipment on
TRT-1 - 1957, Rack mount 2" Quadruplex Videotape Recorder, tube design, image from Barry Mishkind at
Richard Diehl's, LabGuys World - Museum of Extinct Video Equipment
Richard Diehl's, LabGuys World - Museum of Extinct Video Recorders
Ampex VR 1000 with Ginsburg

LabGuys World Homepage

LabGuys World Homepage
The Ampex VTR development team poses with the Mark IV prototype c. 1957. From L to R: Fred Pfost, Shelby Henderson, Ray Dolby, Alex Maxey, Charles Ginsburg & Charles E. Anderson: from LabyGuys World Image of Toshiba VTR-1 in 1959 pulled from Terra Media's Chronology of video technology page. Development is said to spurred Sony's Experimental 2" VTR. LabyGuys World is a valuable resource with images, manuals, connector diagrams and much more, on both consumer and professional video equipment.
Richard Diehl's, LabGuys World - Over 125 Manuals for Historic Video Equipment
Richard Diehl's, LabGuys World - Videotape Recorder Connector Guide
Sony's Experimental 2" VTR, c1958-9, after seeing an Ampex VTR at NHK TV (Sony image) Ampex VR-1000-B, 1961, very early, 2" Quadruplex VTR (Wikipedia image) Ampex VR-1000-C, 1963, the next generation 2" Quadruplex VTR ( image)
Sony History since 1946 (general history with several entries on VTRs)
Ampex VR-1500 First Consumer VTR 1963
Ampex 2" helical VTR, VR-1500, probably the first released to consumers in 1963 (LGW). Ampex 2" Quad AVR-2, 1979 (LabGuys World image). Ampex 2" Quad AVR-3, 1980-1 (The Video Guide Image)
Ampex VR-660 1963 RCA TR-50 Color and TR-4 Monochrome IVC 9000 2" Helical
Ampex VR-660 Control Panel
1963, the elusive and rare Ampex VR-660(B) with Edicon from LabGuys World. RCA TR-50 Hi-Band Color (1967) 2" helical and TR-4 Color Capable (1964) from RCA Equipment Archive. IVC 9000, 1982 2" Helical Scan (1500 RPM head) production VTR at 8 ips on magnetic tape; first tier machine (LabGuys World image)
RCA TCR-100 Cartridge Recorder
2" Quad Video Cartridge Machine held 22 cartridges that could all playback sequentially in segments from 20 seconds up to 3 Minutes in length. WDCA-TV in DC first tested the production model TCR-100. The TCR-100 received an EMMY Award for its engineering design; image from Barry Mishkind at
1" Video Equipment
Sony UV-340 1" helical Full Color
1970 Sony UV-340 1"Full Color VTR. This was the first of the Sony one inch machines that did not require an external color adapter unit; it records EIAJ standard video signals, 60 Hz field frequency monochrome or NTSC color video with 2:1 or random interlace using 2 heads in slant track scanning system FM recording. (LabGuys World image). IVC 800A, 1977, 1" color (slow motion poss) helical scan at 9.6 IPS, for 1 Hr. on its 9.25" 1" tape reel, second tier machine (LabGuys World image). Ampex 1" VPR-1, 1980-1 (The Video Guide image).
1/2" Video Equipment
Sony CV 2000 Panasonic NV-800 Pre-EAIJ Ampex VR-420 EAIJ 1/2"
1965 Sony CV 2000D this is one of the very first affordable video tape recorders for consumers introduced by Sony in 1965 and is currently the oldest unit in Richard Diehl's Collection, LabGuys World. 1967 Panasonic NV-8000 pre-EIAJ VTR; very rare; 12 IPS giving a 40 minute recording time per 7 inch reel with 2400 feet of tape; push button video head cleaner; different from the plain vanilla NV-8100 from LabGuys World. 1973 Ampex VR-420, this is a very fancy color EIAJ record/play editing deck with stereo audio. The only EIAJ model Ampex ever shipped. Made for Ampex by Toshiba during their 1 year partnership known as TOAMCO; from LabGuys World.
Video Goes Portable
3/4" Video Equipment
3/4" VTR Ampex VP-1000 1970 Ampex VR-1600 VTR 1971
Sony VO-2600 (The Video Guide) Ampex VP-1000 Video Playback 1970 (LabGuys World) Ampex VR-1600 Video Playback 1971 (LabGuys World)
1/2" Cassette Video Equipment (VHS, S-VHS and Betamax)
1/4" Cassette Video Equipment
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