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Dead medium: The Wilcox-Gay Recordio
From: (Bill Burns)
Source(s): Alan R. Peterson, "Radio World" for September 4, 1996
In the column called "A Look Back."

Here with the salient points:

The Wilcox-Gay Recordio was available nearly 50 years ago,

and could record either to tape or "hard disc." The

"discs" in question were not digital, but hard wax or

lacquer phonograph records.

During the late 1940's the Wilcox-Gay Corp. of

Charlotte, Michigan, manufactured the Recordio 1C10. This

was a unique device, part tape recorder and part disc

cutter. Originally intended for music students, it was

equally functional for touring pro musicians or in the


Disc recorders of the day could only cut audio

directly to disc, but the Recordio allowed recording to

tape first, then a transfer to a 10-inch, 78 rpm record

blank. The tape could be erased and re-used, but it was

also possible to make and edit a tape recording before

committing it to wax, all inside one machine.

Advertising copy for the Wilcox-Gay Recordio hyped

the device as having "full-range, hi-fidelity

reproduction," although it most likely topped off at 5 to

7 kHz at best. To compare, the professional "broadcast

quality" RCA 73-B disc lathe had 10 kHz response. The ad

copy went on to boast a full hour of recording time on one

slow-moving five-inch reel. The Recordio could be used as

a phonograph or PA system, and could record from

microphone or telephone.

The icing on the cake was its transportability. The

27-pound unit could be taken anywhere.

(((bruces remarks: apparently there was also a coin-

driven public version, "the Wilcox-Gay Coin Recordio.")))