Contributed by The BBC Collection

The BBC had no viable means of recording sound until 1930. Among the first recording machines was the Blattnerphone, designed by early British film maker Louis Blattner.

The device used 6mm steel tape to record a very basic audio signal - good enough for voice but not for music. Spools were large and heavy, editing was done by soldering the tape, and the high speed at which the machine ran (5 ft per second) meant it was hazardous for the operator - a break in the tape could result in razor-edged steel flying around the studio

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